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MAY - 9 1984 

5M— D-45— Form 3 

Poultry Feeding 
and Fattening 


Fully Illustrated 

Compiled by George B. Fiske 

Author of Poultry Architecture, Poultry Appliances, Etc. 


1919 . 

Copyright, 1904 
Orange Judd Company 

Printed in U. S. A, 



Introduction 7 

Chapter I 
Thrifty Growth 9 

Chapter II 
Expert Chicken Feeding 19 

Chapter III 
Broiler Eaising 25 

Chapter IV 
Nutrition for Layers 37 

Chapter V 
Special Foods 51 

Chapter Vi 
To Finish and Dress Capons 67 

Chapter VII 
The Art of Poultry Fattening 73 

Chapter VIII 
Lessons from Foreign Experts 92 

Chapter IX 
American Fattening Methods 103 

Chapter X 
At Killing Time Ill 

Chapter XI 
Preparing for Market 120 

Chapter XII 
Marketing Turkeys and Waterfowl 133 

Chapter XIII 87'297' 
Finish and Shaping 149 


A Modern American Duck Farm Frontispiece 

Feeding Brooder Chicks 29 

Broilers Ready for Market 30 

Broiler Raising on a City Lot 33 

A Good Layer 43 

A Poor Layer 43 

Anatomy of a Fowl 47 

Meats and Grains Compared 53 

Dressed Capon 68 

Coops for Fattening 85 

Cramming Fowls in Large Plant 87 

American Poultry Cramming Machine 89 

English Feeding Machine 89 

Canadian Feeding Machine in Operation 91 

Funnel for Cramming 93 

Fattening and Killing Sheds, France 95 

English Fattening Pen 97 

English Fattening Shed 99 

Frame of Fattening Crate 104 

Chickens in Canadian Fattening Crate 105 

Fattening Chickens at Bondville, Quebec 106 

Fattening Crates with Board Shelter 107 

Process of Dressing Poultry 112 

Picking a Carcass 114 

Knife and Where to Cut 116 

Killing Bag and Knife Guide 117 

Beheading Block 119 

Table for Dressing Fowls 121 

Dressed Poultry Well Packed 123 

Fowl Dressed for Family Trade 128 

Canadian Shipping Box 129 

Turkeys Packed and Marked 137 

Duck Picking 141 

Pair of Dressed Ducks 143 

Killing Department of English Duck Farm 146 

English Duck Ranch, General View 148 

Breast and Thigh Development 149 

Shaped Sussex Fowls 150 

Shaped Fowls, French 151 

Shaped Poultry, La Bresse 152 

Shaping Board, French 153 

Shaping Cloths, French 155 

Chickens in Canadian Shaping Boards 156 

Canadian Shaping Trough in Use 157 


THE weak point in general poultry books has been 
the scant attention given to the subject of the 
standard and improved methods of feeding and 
marketing. The result is that the practical 
knowledge of these branches of poultry keeping has 
lagged behind the others. 

Of all live stock, poultry is most often misfed, 
overfed or underfed. Conditions are artificial, the 
individuals fed are numerous and their needs not 
uniform. Most important of all is the need of the 
same careful rules and experience which guide feeders 
of cattle, sheep or hogs. It is only in recent years that 
much attention has been devoted to special study of 
poultry to make possible a collection of reliable infor- 
mation on the subject. Given good stock, good feeding 
is the key to success. 

The subject is approached largely from the side of 
the best practice and experience, although the under- 
lying science of feeding has been explained as fully as 
needful. In the absence of digestion tables applied to 
fowls and of a sufficient number of feeding trials, the 
science of feeding poultry has not yet reached a point 
where the so-called scientific ration can be compounded 
without large reference to the actual experience of 
successful feeders. 

The subject has been made to cover all branches, 
including chickens, broilers, capons, turkeys, waterfowl : 
how to feed under various conditions and for different 
purposes. The whole subject of capons and caponizing 


is treated in detail. The chapters on fattening and 
preparing for market are intended to be very complete 
on a subject scantily covered in other books. 

Few realize how much room exists for improve- 
ment in the line of feeding and fattening for 
uiarket. The best foreign methods have already gained 
a foothold in America and the resulting product was 
an immediate success in the market. The feeding 
machine, shaping board and other special appliances 
will soon be in more common use by those who travel 
with the van of poultry progress. 

American meat buyers are the most lavish in the 
world. Having once learned the taste of the best 
poultry, not that which is thin and scrawny or has been 
covered with grease in the so-called fattening process, 
but fowls made to take on more flesh, softened and 
ripened, then carefully dressed, fitted and shaped for 
market by all the various arts that can make good 
poultry attractive to the eye; after once sampling such 
poultry the liberal, well-to-do buyer will be content with 
nothing inferior. In fact, with the well-known high 
standard of the American food buying public, it is hard 
to explain why the perfecting of poultry meat has failed 
to keep pace with that of similar products. 

With the instruction given in this volume there is 
no reason why the intelligent poultryman should not 
learn after due experience to breed successfully and also 
turn out a product as good as the best, and suitable for 
the most fastidious trade. 


CHICK feeding is sometimes a very simple matter. 
If they are strong stock, hatched in the most 
favorable season and given wide range, they 
require but little more care in feeding than 
mature poultry. The writer has raised thousands under 
such conditions on a diet largely composed of ground 
grain mixed raw with skimmilk and fed three times a 
day from shell to market. Yet no question but care, 
frequency, variety and adaptation in feeding chicks 
always pays, and is in fact necessary for cold weather 
chicks, those of feeble stock and those kept in close 
quarters. There is no profit in a chicken kept just 
alive. The faster the growth the greater the profit, 
whether grown for market or for winter laying. 

One reason why more care should be taken in 
feeding chickens than the older birds is that the former 
know less what they want than the latter. They are 
hungry things, and take whatever is given them, and 
their digestive organs being weak, they are not as able 
to dispose of anything objectionable as are older fowls. 

Far too much corn meal is fed to chicks, and it is 
to that cause, in a great measure, that there are so many 
young chicks which die early — often before they have 
fully feathered out. Like very young stock of any kind, 
they require something nourishing, though not violent 
or heating, to induce them to make a good and healthy 

To get most rapid growth they should be fed early 
in the morning, and as late as they can see to eat at 
night. In the intervening time they should be fed not 



less than four times. Feed a little at a time but often, 
is a good rule to follow. It is not a bad plan to give 
three meals of soft feed and three of dry. In order to 
feed with economy, it is necessary to have slat feeding 
coops, so made as to admit the chicks and to exclude the 
mother hens and other fowls. These coops may be 
quickly and cheaply made by tacking plastering lath 
on strips of inch stuff. The food may be placed in 
these coops on long boards or shallow troughs. Xo 
more soft food should be given at one time than will 
be eaten up clean. The habit that some have of throw- 
ing out a great mass of soft food — sufficient to last a 
day — to become foul and sour, is very wasteful and 
injurious to the chicks. 

Do not lose sight of the importance of a balanced 
ration for the young, growing chickens. Bulletin 61 of 
the Ehode Island experiment station shows the danger 
that comes from feeding too much grain. The best 
results were obtained by feeding an abundance of 
animal protein, of which milk is the best form. 
Disease and death followed the excessive use of starchy 
foods. Green food cannot safely be omitted. 

To push young chicks along and keep them in 
health, there is nothing better than boiled eggs mashed 
up, shells and all, with two or three times their bulk 
of stale bread crumbs, or cracker crumbs, thoroughly 
mixed. Mix not more than enough for one feed of this 
at a time and give them only what they will eat readily 
and quickly. Feed stale bread soaked in milk, either 
whole, skimmed, or buttermilk after the milk has been 
squeezed out by hand. 

This is not a very expensive method of feeding, as 
the chicks, being so small, will not consume much of 
it daily, while the very best results have invariably 
followed such a system of feeding and management. 
But if milk is not obtainable, use the yolks of tested 


out eggs, either raw or hard-boiled or soft-boiled, as 
convenient, mixed with the bread crumbs, for the first 

Only one day's feed should be prepared at a time, 
as it will sour if left to stand any length of time. 
Millet seed scattered in the litter about the brood house 
or the short grass; plump wheat screenings; oats and 
corn ground together, with an equal quantity of bran, 
and made into johnnycakes — are good for the young- 
sters. After they get to be three weeks old cracked 
corn and whole wheat may form a larger part of their 
diet, increasing it as they grow older. Better results 
are attained by a judicious alternation of all, day by day, 
or feed by feed ; it keeps the appetite sharp and they are 
always on the lookout for the new surprise at meal time. 
Don't forget the pure clean water, they need that what- 
ever the feed. If the soil does not supply grit in proper 
shape and size it should be furnished them; a dish of 
charcoal where they can help themselves, or a handful 
in the soft feed four or five times a week, will prevent 
most of the ordinary bowel troubles. No tonic or 
stimulant should be needed at this age, but if a brood 
gets suddenly chilled, a dose of some good condition 
powder will help to put them on their feet again. 


I feed the young chicks the first few days on bread 
soaked in milk, then cracked corn and wheat. — [F. W. 
Trask, Lincoln County, Me. 

For feeding little chicks I use millet seed and find 
it superior to any feed I ever tried. Chicks will do 
well on this seed for at least three weeks and grow 
faster than on anything I have ever tried. — [J. M. 
Buckles, Logan County, 111. 

The first ten days I fed them on bread crumbs, 
after dipping the bread in milk to moisten it. After 


that I feed tliem on coarse corn meal moistened, but not 
very M^et, imtil the^^ are old enough to eat cracked grain. 
All the time they have plenty of fresh water to drink. — 
[Mrs. L. I. Clark, Erie County, N. Y. 

My method of raising chickens is to feed them 
any and all kinds of grain and vegetables. I give oats 
to make bone, wheat for feathers, corn, buckwheat 
and green foods to fatten. — [D. C. Wells, Indiana 
County, Pa. 

I never feed the chicks until they are twenty-four 
hours old, and I sometimes think that is too soon. The 
first feed is dry rolled oats and bread crumbs. Then 
I feed mostly corn chop. I never feed warm mashes 
to the chicks or old hens. The laying hens I feed oats 
and screenings in the morning, screenings for dinner 
and corn at night, with plenty of good water and 
exercise. — [F. W. Silloway, Macoupin County, 111. 

I usually feed three times a day, morning, noon 
and night. Never throw feed on the ground or in 
dishes where it will be likely to be contaminated with 
droppings from the hens or other filth. I keep con- 
stantly within their reach clean water in pans, changing 
it every morning and rinsing out the pans. About 4 
p. m. I give them a feed of wheat, cracked corn or 
both. — [J. J. Parker, Chautauqua County, N. Y. 

The chicks are placed in a brooder warmed to ninety 
degrees, the floor of which is covered with dry, sharp 
sand. I sift some corn and oat chop and mix with sour 
milk, soda and salt, and bake johnnycake for them. The 
inner part is crumbled into shallow pans and onto clean 
paper. The crust is moistened with sweet milk warmed 
and fed in pans. The chicks are fed every two hours. 
When chicks are four da3^s old, they are allowed to run 
in a covered yard 4x8 feet, built around the brooder. 
When two weeks old, thoy are allowed to run at liberty 
but are always fed in the brooder yard. As they grow 



older, they are not fed so often, and at a month old, 
five feeds a day is sufficient. At each feeding, fresh, 
clean water is given.— [Mrs. C. G. Ford, Charles City 
County, Ya. 

After the chicks arc twenty-four hours old I begin 
to feed crushed wheat and some grit. ^Yhen four or 
live days old they get some cake made from middlings 
and corn meal. At five or six weeks I give a little 
animal meal or scraps. I keep fresh water constantly 
before them in small earthenware fountains. I also 
use a cake made from American poultry food and one- 
fourth corn meal. In addition to the above I give 
them the lawn clippings and waste fruit. They are fed 
five or six times a day.— [John M. Harrington, Middle- 
sex County, ]\Iass. 

Our three favorite articles of diet for chicks are 
bread crumbs, millet seed and oatmeal, and of the two 
latter commodities we bay in quantities expressly for 
tlie season's work in the poultry world part of the farm. 
Millet seed at thirty cents per bushel becomes an inex- 
pensive part of their living ; ten bushels or more of this 
seed is yearly put safely away for this purpose, for the 
young broods as they come from nests and incubators. 
Oatmeal is purchased by the barrel, lessening the 
expense very materially as compared with the price of 
it when bought by the pound or "quarter's worth." 
Eolled oats we have come to look upon with suspicion, 
as we have noted occasional bad results from feeding it. 
It becomes pasty in the crop if a meal is made of it 
exclusively, and thus becomes to an extent indigestible. 
We now use the steel cut oatmeal, or what is sometimes 
designated "the pinhead oatmeal." It is clean, sharp 
cut, free from flour and much relished by the chicks 
and they thrive amazingly upon it. The barrel of oat- 
meal just purchased, 200 pounds, cost $4.50. This will 
doubtless be more than sufficient for the season, fed, 


as it is, with otlicr kinds of foo(L — [Xellie Hawks, 

Best Developing Ration — For developing thorough- 
bred fowls as well as for laying hens, I. K. Felch recom- 
mends the following ration where the grains can be 
procured at reasonable prices: Five pounds beans, ten 
pounds each wheat bran and barley, and fifteen pounds 
each oats and corn. These are thoroughly mixed and 
ground fine. For the morning meal take four parts of 
this and one part ground beef and scald over night. 

Expert Duck Raising — The following summary is 
prepared by G. H. Pollard, an extensive and promi- 
nent poultryman of Bristol county, Mass. : Start the 
ducklings on a feed of two-thirds bran and one-third 
Indian meal. If we have milk, I mix it with that. 
Give them drinking water from the first. We start 
them on that food witli just a handful of gravel or 
sand thrown in for two or three days. After that they 
are supposed to know enough to eat grit if they want it. 
We mix the food cold as a rule. If we had very early 
birds we would mix it with warm water and would 
slightly warm the drinking water. I never cook the 
food. As a rule it seems to me that it makes more 
labor with no corresponding gain in produce. The 
only question in making a good thing of the business 
is in keeping the labor down. You cannot cut down 
the amount of their food, but you can make a saving 
in the amount of labor. 

We start the young ducks on the above-mentioned 
food and carry them along until about the fifth day 
and then begin to add beef scrap. When we begin to 
add this food we gradually take away the milk and give 
it to the younger ones which come along. In an 
ordinary mash you cannot get enough animal food from 
the milk used to mix it, so we use beef scrap to make 
up for it. We rarely give milk to ducklings or even 


to chicks to drink because they get it all over them* 
selves, which makes them anything but pretty birds. Wc- 
prefer to give it in soft food. We begin to add about 
five per cent beef scrap on the fifth day and from that 
we gradually increase the beef supply until at two 
weeks they should be getting about ten per cent. If 
they do not seem to be thriving we take away most of 
the beef and give them grain almost altogether. 

Of late our tendency has been to feed more bran. 
We never exceed the proportion of half meal and half 
bran. Some breeders give at the end of ten weeks eighty 
per cent of meal, but we like bran better. Ducks and 
geese detect a very slight change in food and at any 
abrupt change they will refuse to eat. I think ducks 
are even more particular than geese. The theory with 
hens is that they should have as constant change of food 
as it is possible to give them, but this theory will not 
work on ducks. 

We carry them right straight through on this feed, 
not exceeding one-half bran and one-half meal, and 
some beef scrap. One can mature birds more quickly 
by giving more beef scrap. Of course it is a question 
whether one can afford to pay so much for beef scrap 
when one could get the same results with bran in a 
little longer time. One can get fairly good results with 
nothing but bran and meal. 

If raising for breeding birds, you can mature them 
and get as good a frame on bran and meal, but it will 
take two months longer. A bird hatched in March 
would be pretty well developed in September if fed 
stimulating food, but it would be November before it 
was developed if fed no stimulants. We believe in an 
abundance of green food for breeding birds. In all 
waterfowls the white-meated ones are the desirable 
birds. A large proportion of bran will give a white- 
meated bird either in ducks or fowls. 


For Feeding Duels, rules vary. One large eastern 
grower allows 400 quarts of mixed feed per day at two 
feeds per day for 600 breeding and laying ducks. This 
is at the rate of about two-thirds of a quart per day for 
each duck. ' Comparing this with the ration for hens, 
it will be seen that tlie appetite of the duck is much 
larger than tliat of the hen. 

Experiments in Feeding Ducks — The feeding and 
management of poultry has been studied by a number 
of the stations. In most cases the work has been con- 
fined to chickens. Two of the stations have reported 
experiments with ducks, summarized as follows by 
C. P. Langworthy: 

The Michigan station studied the comparative 
growth made by thirty-nine young ducks and the same 
number of chickens on similar rations. The ducks were 
two weeks old at the beginning of the test and were fed 
middlings, corn and bran, together with the necessary 
grit and green food (lettuce), and were given the run 
of a small yard with a grass patch. The chickens were 
fed bran and relatively more corn meal than the ducks, 
but had no middlings. They were also given lettuce 
and allowed the run of a grass plat. Both chickens 
and ducks were given skimmilk in addition to the other 
food. At the beginning of the test the ducks weighed 
13.25 pounds and the chickens 7.5 pounds. In five 
weeks the ducks were nearly ready for the early market 
and had gained 108.75 pounds. They had eaten 41.3 
pounds of corn, 93.1 pounds of middlings, 43.4 pounds 
of bran, fifty-nine pounds of lettuce and eighty-eight 
pounds of skimmilk. The total cost of a pound of 
gain was 1.9 cents. In the same period the chickens 
had gained thirty pounds and had consumed 52.2 
pounds of corn, 25.9 pounds of bran, forty-six pounds 
of lettuce and 44.3 pounds of skimmilk. The total cost 
of a pound of gain was 4.84 cents. In discussing the 


proiits corn and bran are rated at $14 and middlings 
at $15 per ton, milk at twenty cents per hundred, and 
lettuce at one cent per pound. The ducks gained much 
more rapidl}^ than the chickens and the gains were more 
economically made. The chickens were not large 
enough for market at the close of the test and the feed- 
ing was continued for some time before they were soLl. 
At the North Carolina station eighteen Pekin 
ducks were fed for fifty-six days from the time they 
were hatched. At the beginning of the test the total 
food consisted of 4.4 ounces of corn meal and an equal 
amount of bran per head daily, while at the close of 
the test, six pounds ten ounces of meal, four pounds 
three ounces of bran and three pounds five ounces of 
bone were fed daily. In addition to the grain an 
amount of fine grit equal to one-sixth of the weight of 
the grain, and chopped green clover equal to one-fourth 
the bulk of the ration, were also fed. All the feed w\as 
mixed with water to a crumbly mass and fed in troughs. 
No water was allowed except for drinking purposes. 
In this test corn meal, cut bone and grit were each 
rated at one cent per pound and wheat bran at 0.9 cent 
per pound. Account was also taken of the value of the 
clover fed, the eggs set, and the food of hens carrying 
the ducks. The ducks weighed two ounces when 
hatched, and four pounds fifteen and one-half ounces at 
the close of the test. The cost of a pound of gain 
was 5.05 cents. 

What to Feed Young Turlceys, as told by E. D. 
AVeswer of South Dakota, whose methods have been 
awarded a prize in a recent contest: After the eggs 
are all hatched and the young turks are taken off and 
placed in tJieir house and yard, give them their first 
meal, which should be stale bread crumbs soaked in 
milk, and hard-boiled eggs. Boil an egg five minutes 
and it will be tough and indigestible, but boil it half 


an hour and it will be easily crumbled. When four or 
five days old begin feeding curds, and give all the sour 
milk they will drink. Chop onion tops and lettuce and 
give with the food until they begin picking young and 
tender grass. Twice or three times a week give a little 
pepper in the food. Don't give too much — their mouths 
are not lined with sheet iron — but season as if you 
expected to eat it yourself. 

By the third week, begin feeding cooked corn meal. 
Do not give a full feed of meal at first, but add a little 
more each day, until at four or five weeks they are 
to be fed entirely on cooked corn meal, with all the sour 
milk they will drink. Xever feed any raw meal to 
young turkeys. It should always be cooked by baking, 
until the turkeys are two and one-half months old. 
Feeding meal too soon, feeding uncooked meal and 
feeding grain before they are able to digest it will kill 
fully one-half of the brood. 

When six or eight weeks old, feed cracked corn or 
wheat screenings at night. From the time when yoa 
begin feeding until they are fully feathered and have 
thrown out the red on their heads, feed five or six times 
a day ; then if insects are plenty they will thrive on two 
meals a day, cooked corn meal and potatoes in the 
morning and cracked corn or other grain at night. 

Should a sudden shower come up while the young 
turkeys are out foraging, drive them to their coops. 
If any get chilled and refuse to eat, take them to the 
house, dry and warm them thoroughly, return to the 
mother and give a good feed with plenty of red pepper 
or ginger mixed in. Where insect forage is abundant, 
turkeys will pick the greater part of their living for 
three or four months and in such localities it will do 
to turn them out after they are three months old 
without any breakfast, but they should always have 
a handful of grain at night. 



THE first rule for getting a good profit from 
poultry is to hatch the chickens early. Equally 
important is the second — keep them growing so 
that they will come to laying maturity by 
Xovember 1. The food and care has much to do with 
keeping the chicks growing. 

Let them alone until they are twentj^-four hours 
old, or until the morning of the twenty-second day. 
They need no food during this time; nature has pro- 
vided for that by absorption of the egg yolk into their 
little abdomens, and it is necessary that this egg yolk 
be digested and assimilated before any other food goes 
in. Much damage is done and many chicks killed by 
not observing this rule. Some people in their feverish 
haste to get the chicks growing, hurry food into their 
crops before the system has been toned up to take care 
of it. The consequence is the bowels are congested, 
dysentery sets in, and the chick goes over to the 

We always set the hens in pairs, so the chicks of 
two hens may be given to one, allowing the other to 
reset. When a brood is to come off we take a covered 
basket to the nest, remove all the chicks from one hen 
and put them in the basket, then take the basket and 
biddy to a coop previously made ready in a sunny, 
grassy spot. Putting the hen down in the coop, the 
basket is tipped upon its side near her and the downy 
little things run out to her protection. 

An Qgg has been previously boiled hard, chopped 
fine, shell and all, and mixed with double the quantity 


of bread crumhs. This is set before them for their first 
meal. To be sure,, biddy gobbles about all of it. Xo 
matter. She has worked hard, half starving herself to 
bring forth this promising little flock, and a good feed 
now will help to make her contented and happy, con- 
sequently a better mother. 

Feed a little and often is the best method; every 
two hours, say five times a day, till the chicks are five 
weeks old. See that no food is left in the sun to sour 
after they have eaten; remove it all. Xothing causes 
more bowel looseness and dysentery than sour food. 

Our chief foods for the first five or six weeks are 
coarsest oatmeal slightly moistened with sweet milk, 
and waste bread from hotels and restaurants. This 
bread consists of bread, rolls, tea and corn cakes, etc., 
and is an excellent food for chickens. "We spread it on 
the attic floor to dry, and then grind it to coarse 
crumbs in our bone mill. The first feed in the morning 
is bread crumbs slightly moistened with milk or water ; 
the second, about nine o'clock, is oatmeal moistened as 
above ; about eleven, bread crumbs again, about half-past 
one, oatmeal, and about four o'clock a little cracked 
wheat or cracked corn. 

There has been much dispute as to how soon dry 
grain or cracked grain should be fed to chicks. An 
article upon chicken feeding, by Mr. "W. Yale, in 
Feathered World (London), says: "The chick cannot 
be too soon supplied with food that will require the 
grinding power of the gizzard to be properly brought 
into action. Soft food will not do this, consequently 
more or less dry food must be supplied. In the gizzard 
with the aid of some grit, the woody fiber enveloping 
the most nutritious parts of seeds and grain is ground 
into atoms, also the nutritious parts thus prepared for 
digestion and assimilation. Some gritty substance is 
absolutely essential; for, without it, the gizzard cannot 


properly perform its work. Even baby chicks should 
be fed upon a sanded floor. The gritty matter should 
be as hard and sharp as possible, so that it will grind 
up bones and such like substance. When chicks are 
young, broken wheat, coarse oatmeal, canary seed and 
hemp seed are each suitable. They should not have 
much, if any, Indian corn, as it makes them too fat, and 
thus renders them liable to a variety of ailments. For 
stock purposes a fat fowl is worse than useless, for its 
progeny is almost certain to be weak." 

Green food must be supplied. If the chicks are 
cooped upon fresh grass the problem is solved and they 
will help themselves to what they need. If, however, 
they are confined in small yards, finely cut grass, as 
from the lawn mower, onion tops chopped fine, lettuce 
leaves, or even boiled vegetables, will make a good sub- 
stitute. T]ie grass run is the thing if possible, and 
substitutes are only suggested where the grass run is 

Fresh, cool water is kept constantly accessible and 
a drink can be taken when wanted. 

Grit is another necessity. Don't think the chicks 
can find this themselves. That is one of the commonest 
mistakes in rearing chicks. Have a little dish of grit, 
or fine gravel, or coarse sand, or broken oyster shells, 
or broken crockery, or pounded bricks, or even fine 
clinkers from coal ashes, such as will pass through a 
quarter-inch mesh sieve, but won't pass through an 
eighth-inch mesh sieve; all these are good, and one of 
them at least is get-at-able. 

For the benefit of those who cannot get waste 
bread we give Mr. I. K. Felch's rule for his excelsior 
meal breacl: "Grind into a fine meal in the following 
proportions: twenty pounds corn, fifteen pounds oats, 
ten pounds barley, ten pounds wheat bran. We make 
the cake by taking one quart of sour milk or buttermilk. 


adding a little salt and molasses, one quart of water in 
which a large heaping teaspoonful of saleratus has been 
dissolved, then thicken all with the excelsior meal to 
a little thicker batter than your wife does for corn cakes. 
Bake in shallow pans till thoroughly cooked. We be- 
lieve a well-appointed kitchen and brick oven pays, and 
in the baking of this food enough for a week can be 
cooked at a tinie.'^ 

Wright's "Practical Poultry Keeper" says : "With 
regard to feeding, if the question be asked what is the 
best food for chickens, irrespective of price, the answer 
must decidedly be oatmeal. After the first meal of 
bread crumbs and egg, no food is equal to it, if coarsely 
ground and only moistened so much as to remain 
crumbly. The price of oatmeal is, however, so high as 
to forbid its use in general, except for valuable breeds; 
but we should still advise it for the first week in order 
to lay a good foundation." 

We are obliged to differ with ^Ir. AVright as to 
oatmeal being an expensive food for chicks. It cer- 
tainly looks expensive to pay six dollars a barrel (three 
cents a pound) for oatmeal for chicken food, but it 
spends so well, goes so far, that we have found it an 
economical food. We used fifty dollars^ worth last year, 
practically ten cents per chick raised, and it made two- 
fifths of their food from shell to laying maturity. 
Considered simply as a food ration, it is economical, 
but when we consider that "good foundation" which it 
makes, it becomes even more desirable. A good founda- 
tion in the chick means eggs in the basket the next fall 
and winter; hence oatmeal is a cheap food, in the best 
sense of the term. 

For the first six weeks I feed five times a day, or 
about once in two and one-half hours, and after the 
chicks are six weeks old I feed four times a day. 


The breakfast is bread crumbs, continued until 
they are about ten weeks old, when they are graduated 
into the morning mash such as we feed to our fowls. 
About ten o'clock they have a feed of the coarsest 
oatmeal moistened; about half-past one o'clock a light 
feed of cracked wheat or cracked barley (the latter is a 
by-product of a cereal manufactory, and an excellent 
food), and about five o'clock, whole wheat or cracked 
corn, one one day, the other the next. Twice a week 
we have fresh meat (butchers' trimmings), cooked and 
chopped, which is mixed in with the coarsest oatmeal 
(about half and half) for the second feed. We have, 
also, a bone cutter, and twice or three times a week the 
chicks have a good time wrestling and tumbling over 
each other in their eagerness to get the fresh cut bone. 

Not having a bone cutter, we should mix some bone 
meal into the moistened bread crumbs for breakfast, and 
about three times a week we sprinkle in a little condition 
powder as a condiment to promote digestion and good 
health. We intend to vary the food ration continually 
within the range here described. For instance, one day 
the food will be bread crumbs, oatmeal, cracked wheat, 
cracked corn; the next day, bread crumbs, oatmeal and 
chopped meat, cracked barley, whole wheat; the next 
day, bread crumbs, cut bone, oatmeal, cracked corn 
and so on. 

The rule is to feed only what the chicks will eat 
up clean and quickly ; but we break over the rule so far 
as the last feed is concerned, and the boy goes around 
a second time, twenty to thirty minutes after feeding, 
and if it is all eaten up clean, three or four handfuls 
more are put down, so that all shall have a chance to 
*^fill up" for the night. If a handful is left uneaten 
it quickly disappears in the morning, and as it is always 
dry grain, it does not sour, and there is no danger from 
leaving a little. Grit, in the shape of screened gravel. 


is also always by them, and ground oyster shells are 
given them about twice a week. As there are no trees 
in our fields we provide a temporary shelter for shade, 
making a slanting roof near each coop. This helps 
each family to identify its own home, and, besides, 
shelter from the hot sun is shelter from the rain also, 
and the feed boards are put under it in wet weather. 
With this liberal feeding of a varied food ration the 
pullets will begin to lay in October and the fowls are 
then turned off to the butcher, the houses cleaned up 
and whitewashed and the pullets moved in. 


THIS industry requires both skill and capital. A 
successful broiler plant should be run in con- 
nection with an egg farm, so that the eggs mav' 
be supplied from the home yard. In winter time 
purchased eggs often either get chilled or are infertile. 
The second requisite to success is a good incubator. 
Hens cannot do the hatching during cold weather. The 
incubator must be so constructed that it will furnish a 
uniform temperature throughout. The heat should 
never fall below 101 degrees nor go above 103. 

The brooder is important after the chickens have 
been hatched. A brooder must be so constructed that 
it is always a little warmer in the center than in other 
portions. The temperature should be kept close up to 
100 degrees for two or three days. x\fter that ninety- 
five degrees is about right for the remainder of the first 
week, after which reduce the temperature five degrees 
each week until seventy degrees is reached. 

An even temperature seems the key to raising 
healthy winter chicks. Visiting the Rhode Island 
poultry school in 1901, the writer saw 600 in a room 
fifteen by twenty-eight feet heated by steam pipes and 
radiators to a uniform temperature of about seventy- 
two degrees day and night, except for the first few days 
of the chickens' life, when the temperature was eighty- 
five to ninety. They were kept in small flocks in 
brooder boxes and fed as usual. Although the chickens 
never breathed outdoor air from hatching to the time 
when at eight or ten weeks of age they were marketed 
as broilers, they seemed very strong, active and thrifty, 
and not over fiJfteen per cent were lost or proved defect- 


North Carolina State Coll see 


ive from am' cause; a fine showing for January chicks. 
Some of these chicks were raised to maturity and proved 
equal to the average to all appearances, although the 
first ten or twelve weeks of their lives had been passed 
wholly in the room mentioned. 

At the same time this experiment was going on 
other chickens hatched and fed in the same way as these 
just described were being reared in brooders heated 
separately by lamps in the usual manner, and about one- 
half of them died from lung and other diseases before 
reaching the broiler size. The manager of the warm 
room experiment, Dr. Cooper Curtice, writes as follows 
describing the feeding: 

"Many people have asked, on seeing the healthy- 
growing, well-feathered young chicks, what food we were 
using. The winter's experience, in which a variety of 
grains were used, indicates that it is not so much what 
the food is as how the food is supplied, providing there 
are plenty of starchy, albuminous and green matters. 
In nature, small seeds, insects and grass furnish food 
for chickens. These are most abundant in the spring 
and summer months, and it is at this time that tho 
chickens thrive. To secure the best results, foods 
simulating both the composition and the mechanical 
character of these should be supplied. For instance, in 
the summer tlie tips of grasses are young and tender 
and easily broken by the chickens. For green stuff to 
be easily assimilable, some plant should be supplied 
which may also be easily broken. We have found 
hanging a head of lettuce in the brooder by a string to 
exactly furnish the desired want and be greedily, even 
crazily, eaten by the chickens. "We have found that 
sifting the cracked corn, scraps and cracked wheat 
through sieves, so as to remove both the meal and larger 
pieces, gives favorable results. ^Millet seeds, broken rice, 
rolled oats, and other things of this character were 


greedily eaten and well digested. For meat for the 
youngest chickens, we have given the sterile eggs boiled 
hard and ground through a sausage machine. While it 
is preferable, if one has time, to chop the egg fine and 
mix it with bran, or even feed it a little at a time to 
the chickens, we found it satisfactory to mix it with the 
bran until it was crumbly and feed it in bulk; a suffi- 
cient quantity being given for the number of chickens 
in the brooder. Mixing the eggs with cracker did not 
succeed with us as well for very young chicks, although 
it is fed by others apparently without harm. As the 
chickens grew older meat scraps were substituted. These 
were usually sifted, added to the grain ration, and 
strewn upon the floor of the brooder. Boiled liver and 
animal meal were also used, but there was very little 
difl'erence in the gain of the different chickens when 
fed upon the animal meal, meat scraps or egg. 

"One mixture of seeds was made as follows, at the 
suggestion of the poultryman: For chicks from one 
day to six weeks old : Mix four parts cracked oats, one 
of fine cracked wheat, two of rolled oats, one-half of 
millet seed, one-half of broken rice, and two of fine 
scraps. For the first two weeks we have added one 
pint of millet seed, leaving out scraps during the first 
week. Boiled eggs, three for each fifty chicks, have 
also been fed. After six weeks, and up to ten weeks, 
feed the folloAving mixture: Mix four parts cracked 
corn, two of fine cracked corn, one of rolled oats, one- 
half of millet, one-half of broken rice, one of gi'it, and 
two of scraps. 

"For chicks kept in the colony system give for 
grain three parts wheat and four of cracked corn. Also 
give the following mash three times per week and daily 
after ten weeks: Mix one part ground corn, one of 
ground oats, and one of brown shorts. To feed the meat 
scraps we made the seed-feed into a mash with boiling 


water, mixed the scraps with it and covered the mass 
until it was ttcII steamed. This mash seems to hasten 
the growth of the chicks. "While it seemed necessary 
to feed the youngest chicks rather oftener, those ten 
days old were fed mash in the morning, green food at 
noon, and dry seeds at night, allowing them to fill their 
crops. "When fed oftener they seemed to get satiated 
and had no desire to eat." 

An illustration, Figure 1, shows the poultry super- 
intendent and some of the students feeding these chick- 
ens. The grain being thrown on very coarse gravel 
provides a great deal of heayj scratching for the chicks 
without causing much dust or dirt. An illustration. 
Figure 2, shows several of these winter broilers as 
prepared for market. 

It is, of course, not ^practicable for many broiler 
raisers to use a warm room in the house as just 
described, but some attention to the brooder rooms in 
the line of tightness and warmth will tend toward the 
same good results. 

For later broiler chickens, which include the 
majority grown, the weather changes are less severe, 
and the birds will do bettor if got outdoors as soon after 
hatching as the weather permits. 

Growing Small Broilers — Poultry specialties are 
becoming still further specialized. Most of the large 
growers have some special sub-branch to which they 
devote more attention and from which they get the 
greater part of their profit. 

At Owls Xest Farm in Middlesex coimty, Mass., 
the specialt}^ is the growing of small broilers, which are 
sold at a weight of about three-fourths pound dressed. 
Chickens of this size are from five to eight weeks old, 
smaller than pigeons, and to the average farmer would 
look too insignificant for any use, but the swell clubs 


and high-class hotels in Boston are glad to pay seventy- 
live cents for them in winter and spring. (See Figure 2.) 
Owls Kest Farm has been run for several years 
and has built up a large trade of the above description ; 
285 of these small broilers are sold from January 1 to 
January 20, mostly to clubs and high-class private trade 
in Boston. This branch of the business is continued 
the year round, although prices grow lower in the 


summer and fall. Incubators are started the last third 
of January, and from 8000 to 10,000 chickens are 
hatched out during the year. The breeds used for 
broilers are Wyandots and Plymouth Rocks. Said 
Superintendent Woodland: "Even for light weight 
broilers such as we produce, the small breeds like the 


Leghorns are not satisfactor3\ They need to be two 
weeks older than the Plymouths to give the same weight. 

"The chickens are not fed for the first day after 
hatching. Their first food consists of broken crackers 
softened in water, cooked mush and bird seeds. They 
are fed very often at first, four or five times or oftener, 
each day. As soon as they get well started their main 
soft ration is a mixture of corn meal and middlings, 
half and half, which is made early in the morning and 
allowed to stand until about nine o'clock and fed warm. 
The first feed, fed very early in the morning, is hard 
grain. Cracked corn, cracked wheat or cracked oats 
are fed at noon and at night. They get one quart of 
meat scraps in the mush for each 3000 chickens. Eor 
green food they have cabbages to peck at and clover 
hay steamed. Mica, grit, charcoal and water are kept 
constantly by them. 

"They are kept warm by hot water pipes about six 
inches from the floor of the pen. Sand is filled in 
under the pipes to varying bights, according to the size 
of the chickens. The ends of the pipes nearest the 
broiler are warmest and the youngest chickens are kept 
there. A great point in raising healthy winter chicks 
is to keep them scratching. The grain and bird seed 
is always fed in sand or litter in order to make the 
chickens work for it. All our chicks are raised by 
incubators and brooders, and by comparison with hens 
which are used some years we find that we can hatch 
and raise twenty-five per cent more chicks by using 
incubators and brooders. 

"In finishing off chickens for market, something 
depends upon our orders. When a lot of chickens are 
needed in a hurry two or three weeks hence, they are 
put in a fattening pen and fed all they will stand. 
Giving as great a variety of food as possible in feeding 
them, just before they get all they want the dishes are 


taken away, leaving them a little hungry. Then the 
next feeding time they will be looking for more. They 
would not stand this high feeding process very long at 
a time, but when they are to go to market in two or 
three weeks, they can be quickest finished off in this 
manner. Chickens which are to be kept a longer time 
must be fed less, kept hungry all the time, so that they 
are ready to fly out of the pen when the man comes 
around with the feed. Tliey must be kept scratching. 
The best we can do, we lose an average of three or four 
a day in winter. 

''"When the chickens are wanted for market they are 
carried in baskets to the killing house, where they are 
dispatched by stabbing the back of their mouth with a 
lancet. The head is not removed. They are not fed 
for twenty-four hours before killing and the entrails 
are not removed. They are dry picked and packed in 
pairs in pasteboard boxes made to fit. There is an ice 
box for cooling the dressed poultry in summer." 

Intensive farming in or near a city, where the 
market is, can be carried on in no better way than in th.} 
raising of broilers. The following account of a city 
broiler plant is by W. M. Hayes, Hampden county, 
Mass. : "My lot is fifty by 150 feet, with a two-tene- 
ment house and stable that accommodates nine horses 
and sheds to cover wagons, sleighs, etc. The brooder 
quarters, as shown in Figure 3, occupy the second floor 
of the wagon shed, fourteen by fifty-two feet. The only 
heat obtained is from tlie brooder stoves. 

''The brooders are arranged in a series, side by side, 
each two and one-half by four feet and without hovers. 
They are entirely homemade affairs and I consider them 
as practical as any without a regulator. One of the 
incubators holds 3G0 to 400 hens' eggs, the other 110 
eggs. My first hatch was December 3. From then 
until summer I hatched 1279 chicks and raised as 



broilers or sold to be raised 1067. I hatch thoroughbred 
stock, as sach sell more readily. I sold several hundred 
at fifteen to seventy-live cents each, according to size 
and age, to be raised. Those that reached broilers so 
as to dress one and one-half pounds brought at whole- 
sale $1.20 per pair and $1.50 to private trade. 

"The most delicate part of this business is to raise 
them. Where there is no room to spread out growing 
stock, one must almost live with them to be able to 


satisfy their needs. They must be kept clean and 
healthy. I have learned that it is not any particular 
kind of food that is sure to raise the little artificially 
hatched orphans; more depends on proper temperature, 
ventilation and cleanliness than any prescribed method 
of feedinof. 


"The first three or four hours after taking from 
the incubator, put them in a clean brooder tliat has 
been heated to ninety degrees with top heat. The floor 
is covered one-half inch deep with sharp sand and 
sprinkled over the sand is a little chicken grit. 

"Their first feed is a very little rolled oats; feed 
sparingly the first day, and also for a week. After 
being in the brooder twenty-four hours, they are fed 
every two hours for three weeks, chiefly on rolled oats, 
fine cracked corn and millet seed. From the first hour 
in the brooder, they are allowed all the fresh cold 
water they want. I have constantly before them in self- 
feeding boxes dry wheat bran, grit, charcoal and bono 
meal. I am often surprised to see how much dry bran 
they eat. At three weeks I give one feed a day of warm 
mash until nine weeks old, when they have all hard 

"Chicks like a variety, and I have to keep them 
guessing what they are going to get next. It is fun to 
steal in on them on the quiet and see them all rubber- 
necking in their curious way to see what is to come 
next. I always find pleasure in feeding almost any 
kind of green food, as well as profit ; then when the time 
comes to feed fresh meat and bone, to see the little 
anxious, hungry things go over and over each other in 
their eager way to get the first mouthful of that favor- 
ite meal. 

"If you use a brooder house in the second stor}', 
you must look out for leg weakness, as the sand and 
litter become very dr}-, and I find it necessary to sprin- 
kle the runs at night after they have gone to bed. I had 
great difficulty in getting eggs with good, strong germ?, 
which are most essential in raising chickens. I do not 
believe it is possible to produce good, strong-germed 
eggs from fowls that are closely confined; give them 
lots of range.'^ 


Small Broilers — Chickens hatched in December can 
be sold at eight to ten weeks of age when dressing 
twelve to sixteen ounces each;, and after March 1 will 
bring the shipper ninety cents per pair. Those most 
in demand dress one pound each. These are called 
'^squab broilers^^ or "individual chickens," and as tho 
supply of game decreases from year to year, there is 
more demand for these small broilers, and it is quite 
profitable for raisers to use this size unless they have 
ample room to carry a small proportion over as roasting 
stock.— [W. D. Eudd. 

To Finish Broilers for Market — ^When nearly large 
enough for broilers put tlie chickens into a pen having 
a shady run and a shady side. Here give them clean, 
fresh water once or twice a day, and all the fattening 
food they can eat. Muscle and bone-making foods, 
remember, are not required. Corn in various forms, 
however, should be fed freely to them. Cooked corn, 
mashed corn and ground corn, as well as whole corn, 
should be fed every day. Warm potatoes and bread 
crumbs will also make fat. Any kind of milk and a 
little sugar will likewise help along the fattening process, 
and this should be as fast as possible, for during these 
days the chicks will eat considerable, and if they do not 
lay on fat every hour it will be a losing operation. 

To get hens which will produce eggs for hatching 
in December, January and February, hatch the pullets 
early, keep them growing and get them to laying so 
that by the time eggs are wanted you have them for the 
incubator. Keep the pullets growing well during the 
summer. Feed wheat and mixed grains. Keep free 
from vermin. Place in winter quarters about October 15. 

Dressing and Marketing Broilers — AYe scald, pick 
all broilers and ship in barrels to Chicago, where we get 
from eighteen to twent3^-two cents per pound. We take 
the feathers off, but leave the head and feet on, and 


leave them undrawn. If sliipped in warm weather we 
crush ice and put in a layer of hroilers, then a large 
scoop of ice and so on until barrel is full, then put on 
a piece of ice weighing about twenty-five pounds. Put 
burlap over that and nail fast to barrel. If picked in 
cold weather use brown paper to line barrel, also use as 
layers between broilers. In scalding, do not scald head. 
If you do, it will look pale and white and make the chick 
look as if it was sick when killed, but if not scalded will 
show up red. This will make a difference of one to one 
and one-half cents on the poimd. After they are picked, 
plump them in hot water not quite to a boil, then throw 
them at once in a barrel of cold water. After you arc 
through picking and have the barrel full, throw some 
salt in the water over them. It will draw the blood 
out of the skin and make them show up white. Leave 
them in cold water until thoroughly cooled out, which 
will take from six to eight hours in hot weather. — 
[Burt Curr)^, Tennessee. 


FOWLS, even more than any other class of livo 
stock, require variety in their feed. None of the 
single grains is best for poultry. More than other 
classes of live stock, too, they require close atten- 
tion and knowledge on the part of the feeder. It is 
almost impossible, by direct experiment, to determine 
the relative values of two different grains as a hen food 
for egg production, because so many other factors enter 
into the problem in each particular case. 

If hens are fed their grain feed in such way that 
they have to exercise vigorously to get their daily feed 
they are much more apt to lay than if fed in troughs 
plenty of prepared feed, allowing them to remain idle. 
Again, if the rooms are either too warm or too cold the 
results are not satisfactory; or if the supply of green 
feed or of mineral matter be insufficient. 

"Wheat or rye is a good feed for fowls, but should 
constitute not over a third of the ration. Buckwheat 
is also a good feed, but starchy, and therefore to be fed 
in limited quantities only, and even corn, which turns 
out, on experiment, to be a particularly good feed, 
notwithstanding the opposition to it by theorists, should 
not constitute the sole grain feed. Give a mixture of 
the gi-ain feeds scattered in cut straw or gravel, so the 
hens will have to scratch, and feed also cut bone and 
plenty of grit. 

In order to get early eggs some extra feed in addi- 
tion to the ordinary ration generally given by farmers is 
needed. As a rule the trouble on the farm is that after 
corn is gathered there is an overabundance of grain 


lying around and in consequence the fowls become too 
fat. All farmers have hay to spare, at least they should 
have, and a few pounds per week fed to the hens will 
greatly increase the egg production. Clover hay is best, 
but any kind is good. Feed as follows: Cut into as 
short lengths as possible (one-quarter to one-half inch) 
and in the evening fill a two-gallon bucket full, cover 
and place on the kitchen stove and allow it to boil as 
long as there is fire. When the morning fire is built, 
allow the hay to heat again, then drain off the water 
and mix with the hay three quarts of wheat bran, or 
enough to make it crumbly, adding three pounds animal 
meal or scraps. This will make two gallons of feed. 
Give it to 100 hens as a morning feed. Eemember this 
is for cold weather and for fowls that are at liberty on 
the farm. 

In the evening, late, supply what they will consume 
of corn one day, and oats or wheat next, and so on. Be 
sure to give plenty of fresh water every day and on very 
cold mornings it is a good idea to make the water 
slightly warm. If you do not, it will freeze at once, 
and be of no service. Be sure the henhouse has good 
tight ends and sides and always front the house to the 
south. The warmer the fowls are in winter, without 
supplying artificial heat, the more eggs they will lay 
and the earlier they will become broody. 

It is a mistake to feed poultry corn or wheat or corn 
and wheat exclusively. Corn is too rich in carbona- 
ceous matter and wdieat is substituted by some in order 
to avoid making the hens too fat. The}" overlook the 
fact that wheat contains a large per cent of starch also, 
and that it will fatten poultry almost as readily as corn. 
It contains more gluten than corn and is therefore 
somewhat preferable on that account, but to feed 
largely of wheat will just as surely make the hens over- 
fat as corn. 


A mixture of wheat and corn, or corn and wheat 
fed alternately, will fatten the fowls quicker than 
either fed alone, as variety helps digestion and less 
waste is sustained. Oats and buckwheat are excellent 
substitutes when needed, but no grain should be fed 
exclusively. Some grain is all right, but a part of the 
food for laying hens should consist of something else. 
Scalded corn fodder or ensilage, cooked turnips, small 
potatoes, etc., fed while warm, make excellent feed. 
The elements of any egg are derived from so many 
sources that no single food will answer the purpose. 
Hens to lay well must have a variety. To feed corn 
and wheat but partially supplies their wants. 

Clover hay is a first-class egg food. It may be 
chopped fine, scalded with boiling water and allowed 
to stand over night in a covered vessel. Next morning 
mix with bran, season with salt and feed warm. 
Furnish green food by feeding cabbage, turnips, beets, 
potatoes, etc. Feed meat scraps two or three times a 
week. Give a variety of grain, wheat, oats, barley, 
buckwheat, and as the nights grow cold, feed nice, sound 
corn three times a week for their supper. This will 
help keep up animal heat during the long cold nights; 
it is much better if given well warmed. Beans and peas 
fed twice a week are good for laying hens. Linseed 
meal is also beneficial if fed sparingly; when given too 
freely it is apt to cause looseness of the bowels, and has 
a tendency to produce molting. Plenty of sweet millc 
is valuable, also clabber and buttermilk, though too 
much buttermilk will often cause bowel trouble. 

Meat, fresh or dried, is a very good food. If a 
supply of poultry food be bought by the quantity in the 
fall, it will greatly lessen the feed bill. On almost 
every farm there are small, knotty apples, potatoes, 
Ijoets, loose heads of cabbage, allowed to go to waste, 
which if gathered and stored will help furnish the 


needed variety and also materially lessen the expense. 
Do not keep food constantly before the fowls, if you do 
not wish them to become disgusted and lose their 
appetite. Give tincture of iron occasionally in their 
drinking water. Eeliable tonics and condition powders 
are all right in their place, but do not expect them 
alone to make eggs without giving the proper food, as 
seems to be the idea of some. Keep the hens at work. 
This is very important — you cannot give a laying hen 
too much exercise when cooped. An idle hen soon grows 
too fat to lay. Encourage them to scratch and work 
for their food, by throwing the grain among a litter 
of leaves and straw. Give them corn on the cob and 
throw them millet heads in which the seed has ripened 
and oats in the sheaf. Suspend cabbage heads with the 
heads downward, so that they can barely reach them. 
The hens that in February are laying eggs for 
hatching must have a large amount of exercise, and 
must be fed a ration that will keep them in good con- 
dition — neither too fat nor too poor — and they must 
have good, fresh air, for eggs laid in ill-smelling 
quarters are not the eggs from which to expect chickens. 
It is easy enough to secure exercise for the poultry in 
winter. Just fill the pens eight or ten inches deep with 
refuse hay, corn butts, chaff and other litter, the whole 
underlaid with gravel, and keep the hens hungry 
enough to work diligently for the grain that is scattered 
in it. Feed a scant breakfast of mush that has bran, 
flour, corn meal, crushed oats and some- kind of meat 
meal in it, and then keep the hens scratching all day 
for the few handfuls of wheat and cracked corn that are 
thrown, a little at a time, into the litter, keeping a 
window open in the pen when the weather will permit. 
At night give the hens all the}" want of cracked corn, 
oats, wheat and barley, and keep grit, charcoal and clean 
water before them all the time. 


There is one other item in the bill of fare that must 
not be overlooked if we would approximate toward 
summer conditions. The fowls must have green food, 
and a certain amount of bulky food. So feed cabbage, 
raw, and cut clover that has been soaked in boiling 
water, giving these at night, or with the morning mush, 
or occasionally at noon (though not at this time in 
quantities to satisfy the fowls' hunger, else scratching 
will cease), and it will be found that the eggs, if not 
allowed to get chilled, contain strong and fertile germs. 

It is generally considered that poultry like a variety 
of food and do better when the rations are frequently 
changed than where one or two things are fed continu- 
ously. A western poultry keeper, who has been very 
successful in securing winter eggs, varies the ration 
from day to day and feeds as follows : Monday morn- 
ing, sheaf oats, night, warm mash; Tuesday morning, 
vegetables, noon, cut green bone, night, cracked corn 
scattered in litter; Wednesday morning, sheaf wheat, 
evening, warm mash; Thursday morning, vegetables, 
noon, whole wheat in litter, night, whole corn in litter; 
Friday morning, vegetables, noon, green cut bone, night, 
cracked corn in litter ; Saturday morning, sheaf wheat, 
evening, warm mash ; Sunday morning, vegetables, noon, 
whole wheat in litter, night, whole and cracked corn 
and wheat in litter. 

The sheaf wheat or oats fed in the morning keep the 
fowls busy all day, so that na more feed is required. 
The mash consists of cooked potatoes or vegetables, cut 
clover and beef scraps, all mixed in a crumbly mass with 
some bran, shorts, chop feed, a little oil meal and salt, 
and sometimes a little powdered charcoal. Clean, fresh 
water is given them twice a day and oyster shells and 
grit are kept before them at all times. The houses arc 
dry and warm and the fowls are fed only as much a.^ 
they will eat up clean. 


Watch the Flock — The feeder cannot depend on 
rules or rations except in a general way. He must 
learn to watch closely and adapt the food to the con- 
ditions. He may judge of the state of flesh by picking 
up the birds or passing his hand over them while at 
roost. Hens sagging dawn behind, beefy and lazy can 
be detected any time at a glance. They should be 
dieted or sent to market. When hens are too thin the 
breastbone is sharp. Hens tend to get too fat when 
not laying or sitting, also on approach of cold weather 
in fall. The older the fowls the more likely to get 
overfat. Heating foods, like corn, should be reduced 
in quantity at the approach of a warm spell. The 
condition of a flock, the weather, and the work the 
fowls are doing governs the ration. It is not needful 
to be constantly figuring out the nutritive rations, etc., 
if the owner has his experienced eye on the birds them- 
selves, and understands the varied needs of his flock. 

The droppings are an important indication, writes 
Dr. Woods: "The droppings should be of sufficient 
consistency to hold their shape, but should not be too 
solid. In color they should be dark, tapering off into 
grayish and white. If the droppings are watery and 
dark with red splashes of mucus in them, feed less meat 
food. If droppings are soft or pasty and yellowish or 
brownish, feed more meat and less starchy food. 
Greenish watery diarrhea should always lead to a 
careful investigation of the sanitary conditions and the 
condition of the food and water. It is a danger signal.'"' 

Feed Good Hens — With hens, as with cows, beyond 
a certain limit, all depends on the individual animal 
or bird, not on the feeding. The illustration, Figure 
4, A Good Layer, shows a hen wliich laid 237 large 
eggs in a year. Tlie picture. Figure 5, of A Poor 
La3Tr depicts anotlier meml)pr of tlic same flock whicli 
laid only thirty-four eggs in tlie same period. A record 



of the best layers is being kept at the Maine experi- 
ment station with the aid of trap nests. From the 


best hens will be raised botli cockerels and pullets with 
the aim of building a strain remarkable for heavy 



laying. Some of the poor hens might have been picked 
out on sight as lazy and beefy in appearance, but in 


other cases the bad layers seemed as smart, well formed 
and vigorous as an}^ The trap nest is the onl}^ sure 
way unless each hen tested can be kept with a flock of 
another breed laying eggs of different color. 

Feeding in Molting Season — Experiments in feed- 
ing fowls conducted by the Rhode Island experiment 
station seem to indicate that the ordinary rations 
supplied to laying hens confined in yards during the 
molting season are deficient in animal food material. 
The importance and value of meat and green bone in 
furnishing animal protein to balance the starchy grains 
is evidenced by largely increased agg production of the 
fowls fed upon a narrow ration, as compared with that 
of fowls receiving a wide or even a medium ration. 

Whole or Ground Grain — Conclusions of the New 
York experiment station: Two lots of laying hens, of 
large and small breeds respectively, having their grain 
food only dry and whole, ate more food at greater cost 
per fowl and for the live weight than did two similar 
lots having about thirty-seven per cent of their grain 
ground and moistened. 

A pen of Leghorns, which had for the year thirty- 
seven per cent of tlieir food ground and moistened 
grain, produced eggs at a greater profit than did an 
exactly similar pen fed whole grain. 

Of two like pens of Cochins, the one fed whole 
grain produced eggs at much less cost than did the pen 
having ground grain, which result is attributed partly 
to the exercise assured in feeding whole grain. 

"With the kinds of whole grain ordinarily available 
it is not possible to feed a largely grain ration having 
as narrow a nutritive ratio — that is, containing as large 
a proportion of the nitrogenous food constituents — as 
is perliaps necessary for l)est results from laying hens. 

By using some of the highly nitrogenous by-prod- 
ucts (such as cottonseed meal, pea meal, gluten feed. 


etc.) with ground grain, it is possible to feed a some- 
what narrow ration without feeding an excessive amount 
of meat. 

With hens fed similar rations, when the hens of 
smaller breeds give only the same egg yield as the hens 
of larger breeds, the eggs are more cheaply produced by 
the smaller hens, but considering the cost of raising and 
the ultimate poultry value of the hens, the profits will 
be equally or more favorable for the larger hens. 

What to Do ivith Fat Hens—SNhen a hen becomes 
very fat, she is not only a poor layer, but will become 
broody, droopy at times, have leg weakness, and be 
unfit for anything but the pot. Such hens should be 
fed only once, at night. The meal should consist of a 
pound of lean meat to twenty hens, with a handful of 
grain scattered for them to hunt up. They will then 
be hungry through the day, and search for food, while 
the inducement of a few grains throwTi out at night 
will cause them to keep at work until late. Meat con- 
tains little of the fat producing elements, if lean, and 
will greatly promote laying as soon as the surplus fat 
is removed, which can only be done by compelling the 
hens to exercise. If the hens are kept on this exercise 
diet for a week or ten days, they will be in better health 
afterwards; and if they lay well, the one meal per day 
may be continued. 

A Fowl's Digestive Machine— The gullet takes 
root from the back of the beak, runs along the neck, 
behinl the windpipe, and ends in the abdomen, a little 
to the left. In the hen there exist three divisions or 
receptacles for food. The first one is the crop, which 
receives food as soon as swallowed. A little farther 
along in the breast is the gullet, which contracts and 
expands so as to form a second receptacle, with thick 
walls. Next we find the third receptacle, very mus- 
cular and large, known as the gizzard. 


The small stones swallowed by the fowl are found 
in the gizzard, and naturalists say they facilitate the 
operation of digestion by the contracting of the mus- 
cular lining, causing the stones to grind the food. This 
last stomach is formed by a thick and very strong 
muscular membrane, the external fibers of which are 
of a tendonous nature. The internal membrane which 
lines the gizzard is very thin, fibrous and hard. It 
secretes a coloring matter, which appears to have the 
property to dissolve stones, principally carbonate of 
lime. Flint requires a longer process. Liquids taken 
as drink appear to be absorbed by the first and second 
stomachs; they are never found in the gizzard unless 
in case of disease. It is worthy of remark that a hen 
eats, when in health, about two ounces of limy or flinty 
sand a day. The salivar}^ glands are small in a fowl 
and produce a liquid thick and slimy, but the quantity 
is very small. 

The liver is very large and divided into two lobes 
of equal size. The gall bladder is attached to the liver 
and contains a thick bile, very bitter. The pancreas 
pours a fluid into the intestines by two small tubes. 
The spleen is very small, of cylindrical shape and placed 
behind the liver. Its function seems to be to keep in 
reserve and prepare the blood used as one of the secre- 
tions necessary to digestion. The circulatory apparatus 
is not different from that of animals. The heart has 
four qavities and the arteries are the same. 

In Figure 6 the abdominal muscles have been 
removed, as well as the sternum, heart, trachea, the 
greater portion of the neck, and all the head except the 
lower jaw, which has been turned aside to show the 
tongue, the pharynx and the entrance to the larynx. 
The left lobe of the liver, succentric ventricle, gizzard 
and intestinal mass have been pushed to the right 
to exhibit the different portions of the alimentary 



canal and to expose the ovary and oviduct. 1, tongue ; 
2, pharynx; 3, first portion of the oesophagus; 4, 

'Fig. 6 — ^ANATOMY OF A FOWL (Howard) 
crop ; 5, second portion of the oesophagus ; 6, succentric 
ventricle; 7, gizzard; 8, origin of the duodenum; 9, 
first branch of the duodenal flexure; 10, second branclx 


of the Ramc; 11, origin of the floating portion of the 
small intestine; 12, small intestine; 13, free extremities 
of the caeca ; 14, insertion of these two organs into the 
intestinal tube; 15, rectum; 16, cloaca; 17, anus; 18, 
mesentery; 19, left lobe of the liver; 20, right lobe; 
21, gall bladder; 22, insertion of the pancreatic and 
biliary ducts; 23, pancreas; 24, limg; 25, ovary (in a 
state of atrophy; fowl not laying) ; 2G, oviduct. 

Poultry Facts — The body of a fowl is composed of 
more than half water. For 100 hens about sixteen 
quarts of clean water per day are required. In eacli 
dozen eggs there is about a pint of water. 

Each 1000 pounds live weight laying hens of 
average size require from sixty-five to seventy pounds 
of grain food per day. On this ration the hen could 
be expected to produce from sixteen to thirty pounds 
of eggs. One pound of eggs may be produced from 
about three-fourths pound of water-free food, and one 
pound of dry matter of eggs corresponds to each 8.8 
pounds of water-free food. For the 1000 pounds 
weight of hens of the larger breeds, forty to fifty 
pounds of grain food per day, containing about thirty- 
four pounds of water-free food, is sufficient. The pro- 
portion of nutrients should be about six pounds 
digestible protein, fourteen pounds digestible nitrogen- 
free extract and two pounds digestible fat. 

A hen of the large breeds, when laying, requires 
about four and one-quarter ounces of food per day; 
Leghorns, while laying, require about three and one- 
half ounces of food per day. Chickens require more 
food in proportion to their weight than older fowls, or 
about 10.6 pounds to every 100 pounds live weight per 
day when very young. At two pounds weight, the 
ration required drops to 7.5 pounds; at three pounds 
weight to 6.4 pounds; at six pounds weight to 4.9 
pounds; at seven pounds weight to 4.7 pounds per day. 


These rations are for grain feed; green food and extras 
should also be fed. 

Various Grains — Sorghum seed is somewhat like 
corn in composition and effect. Such grains as Kafir 
corn, milo maize, millet, durra, chicken corn, may be 
fed to some extent in place of wheat for variet}'. 
Some of these grains are small and make good chick 
food or a good scratching food for fowls. Hulled 
broom corn seed is about equal to wheat. 

Standard Grains — Corn is heating and fattening. 
It should be balanced with meat, bone, bran, gluten, 
linseed and such feeds. Cracked corn if fed dry should 
be sifted to prevent waste. Corn on the cob is a handy 
farm feed and affords some exercise. Corn or meal 
which has been injured by heating and souring should 
never be given young chickens. 

Wheat is considered the safest grain, but is usually 
more expensive than corn. Number 2 wheat if bought 
with care is nearly equal in results to Number 1, if 
merely small, broken or scorched. But screenings con- 
tain many seeds not eaten b}^ the fowls, while sour or 
burned wheat is not satisfactory. Bran, shorts and 
middlings are good with corn meal but not relished 
alone. Waste bread from bakeries, soaked and mixed 
with middlings, is good for fowls and chicks. 

Oats are fed chiefly for variety, not being well 
liked on account of the husk, unless clipped, when they 
are relished and make one of the best of whole grains 
to produce eggs. They are a good offset to corn and 
nearly as nutritious as wheat. Coarse oatmeal ana 
rolled oats are good chick food and easily fed dry. 

Barley is much like wheat in results but is less 
relished. It need not be fed unless it can be had cheap. 
Barley shorts are very nutritious. 

Buckwheat is fattening and quite well liked Dv 
fowls, but not much used except where it is especially 


low in price or home raised. Buckwheat middlings are 
rich in egg material and a good mixture with corn 
meal. The same may be said of rye bran, but whole 
rye is thought to cause bowel trouble if fed freely. 

Homemade Egg Food — The majority of egg foods 
are composed of those elements that enter into the com- 
position of an egg, and their success depends upon the 
fact that the}^ suppl}^ material which is often overlooked 
by those who keep poultry. For instance, ground bone, 
ground meat, salt and charcoal are ingredients — the 
first to supply the phosphates ; the second the albumen ; 
the third, that which is not often supplied, and the 
fourth a corrective. Hence two pounds of ground 
bones, two pounds of ground meat, four ounces of salt, 
a pound of charcoal, two pounds of linseed meal, with 
an ounce each of sulphur, baking soda and ginger, 
makes a very good egg food, which may be given to 
six fowls daily, using a gill mixed with other food. 

Egg Producer — Exhaustive experiments have 
proved that the use of an egg stimulant, while it forces 
the pullets to earlier laying, does not increase the total 
yearly egg yield and that there is no profit in its use. 
For those who wisli to use something of the kind, the 
following formula may be j^repared for about thirty-five 
cents and will give an egg producer as effective as 
anything: Cantharides, ninety grains; ginger, thirty 
ounces; gentian, one and one-half ounces; capsicum, 
six ounces; Venetian red, two ounces; sulphur, three 
ounces; charcoal, one ounce; oil meal, thirty ounces; 
ail should be ground finely and well mixed. Use one 
and one-half teaspoonfuls to the quart of hot mash, 
which IS enough for twelve average fowls. 

Condition powders are mainly composed of stim- 
ulating, spice-like drugs, such as gentian, fenugreek, 
anise seed, ginger, etc. The effects are because of tlie 
tonic or stimulating nature of the materials emplo^^ed. 


OWING to high prices of grain, which make large 
inroads into the receipts of poultry keepers who 
must buy a large proportion of the feed, the 
question has often been asked if something could 
not be used in place of so much grain. The hen has 
a small crop and cannot make use of a great amount 
of coarse, bulky foods as can cows and other ruminants. 
The grain ration can be advantageously cut down one- 
fourth or more by the liberal use of clover and vegeta- 
bles, but where this is done a large proportion of the 
wheat bran, which is also bulky food, should be left out. 
Very finely cut clover or alfalfa, or clover meal, can 
be steamed and mixed with the mash, or the noon ration 
may consist of steamed clover to which is added some 
wheat middlings and corn meal. Vegetables can be 
fed either green or boiled and mixed with the mash. 
Corn silage makes an occasional relish and is very cheap. 
Whole grain should be fed at least once a day. Barley 
is sometimes one of the most economical feeds to buy 
and is very good fed either ground or whole. Meat 
scraps or green cut bone are cheap considering the 
matter which they contain. 

Animal Matter — It is well known that poultry 
when allowed to range at will eat considerable quanti- 
ties of animal matter in the form of insects, worms, etc. 
How necessary this animal matter is to the health 
of fowls, and especially ducks, was strikingly brought 
out by experiments at the Xew York state experiment 
station. Two lots each of chickens and ducks, as nearly 
alike as possible, were used in these experiments. One 


lot in each case was fed a ration of mixed gi^ains and 
skimmilk or curd, containing no animal matter, the 
other ration of mixed grains, with animal meal and 
fresh bones or dried blood. The two rations were about 
equally well balanced, although the "animal matter'' 
ration contained a little less protein than the "vegetable 
matter'^ ration. The distinctive difference between the 
two rations was that in the one case two-fifths to one- 
half of the protein came from animal sources, while in 
the other it all came from vegetable sources. T^ro 
trials were made with chickens. 

In each trial more food was eaten by the lot 
receiving animal protein, the gain in weight was more 
rapid, maturity was reached earlier, less food was 
required for each pound of gain, and the cost of gain 
was less. 

During the first twelve weeks of the first trial 
(starting with chickens one-half week old) the chicks 
on animal meal gained fifty-six per cent more than 
those on the vegetable diet, although they ate only 
thirtj'-six per cent more; they required half a pound 
less of dry matter to gain one pound, and each pound 
of gain cost only four and one-quarter cents, as com- 
pared with five and one-fifth cents for the grain- 
fed birds. 

During the next eight weeks the cost of gain was 
seven and one-half cents and eleven and one-fifth cents, 
respectively. The animal-meal chicks reached two 
pounds in weight more than five weeks before the 
others; they reached three pounds more than eight 
weeks sooner, and three pullets of the lot began laying 
four weeks earlier than any among the grain-fed birds. 

With the second lot of chicks, starting at six weeks 
of age, the differences were in the same direction, 
though not quite so striking, thus showing that the great 
advantage of the animal nitrogen is in promoting 


quick, healthy growth and early maturity rather than 
increasing the tendency to fatten. (See Figure 7.) 

The results were most convincing, almost startling, 
in the case of ducklings fed the contrasted ration. 
Before the experiment had been long under way it was 
noticed that the animal-meal birds were developing 
rapidly and evenly, but the grain-fed ducklings were 
becoming thin and uneven in size. It was sometimes 
almost pitiful to see the long-necked, scrawny, grain- 
fed birds, with troughs full of good, apparently whole- 
some food before them, standing on the alert and 

Total we iAhfattr'.ined. Cost of food for 
.Q I (TTI I Pound Sain* 



fo^".* pound gain. 

3.1 lbs. near 

5.2 J bs. Gram 

scrambling in hot haste after the unlucky grasshopper 
or fly which ventured into their pen, while the con- 
tented-looking meat-fed ducks lay lazily in the sun 
and paid no attention to buzzing bee or crawling beetle. 
The thirty-two meat-fed birds lived and thrived, but 
the vegetable-fed birds dropped off one by one, starved 
to death through lack of animal food, so that only 
twenty of the thirty-three were alive at the close of the 
fifteenth week of contrasted feeding. They were then 
fed for four weeks on the meat meal ration and made 
nearly as rapid gains as the other lot at the same size 
two months before, but they never quite overcame the 
disadvantage of their bad start on grains alone. 

In conclusion, then, it may be said that rations 
in which from forty to fifty per cent of the protein was 


supplied by animal food gave more economical results 
than rations drawing most of their protein from vege- 
table sources. The chief advantage was in the pro- 
duction of rapid growth, although the cost of production 
is also in its favor. While inferior palatability may 
have had something to do with the marked results, 
esjDecially with the ducks, the whole bearing of these 
experiments and others not yet reported seems to 
indicate that the superiority of the one ration is due 
to the presence in it of animal food. 

Ducklings certainly need meat or animal food in 
some form. James Eankin, the veteran Massachusetts 
duck raiser, feeds one part hard-boiled eggs and three 
parts stale bread crumbs the first three or four days. 
After that he gives equal parts wheat bran, corn meal 
and boiled potatoes with a little beef scrap. The largest 
duck raiser on Long Island, A. J. Hallock, feeds equal 
portions of w^heat middlings, corn meal, crackers or 
bread crumbs with green food for the first week. After 
this the ration is made of four parts corn meal, two 
of bran, one of middlings, one of beef scrap and about 
four parts green food. A handful of sharp sand is 
added to each quart of the mixture. 

Fresh Green Bone — Green bones are not used as 
extensively as they should be, because grain can bo 
obtained with less difficulty, but as egg producing 
material, the bone is far superior to grain; nor does 
the bone really cost more than grain in some sections. 
Bones fresh from the butcher have more or less meat 
adhering, and the more of such meat the better, as it 
will cost no more per pound than the bone, while the 
combination of both meat and bone is almost a perfect 
food from which to produce eggs. 

If the farmer can get two extra eggs per week frojn 
each hen in winter, he will make a large profit, but it' 
the product is increased only one egg per week in 


winter, that one egg will pay for all the food she will 
consume, so it pays to feed the material that will induce 
egg production. It is frequently the case that poultry 
receive a sufficient quantity of food but not of the 
proper kind to induce egg production. 

A pound of green cut bone per day is sufficient for 
sixteen hens and such quantity ought not to cost over 
one cent. Where fowls have yard range one quart of 
grain at night and one pound of cut bone should be 
sufficient for sixteen hens per day in winter. In 
summer only the bone need be fed. Such a diet pro- 
vides fat, starch, nitrogen, phosphates, lime and all the 
substances required for egg production. As eggs sell 
for about three cents in winter, it is plain that it is 
cheaper to feed bone than grain. In this connection 
a bone cutter will be found necessary, wdiich may reduce 
the profits the first winter, but where a cutter is first 
introduced among a community of poultry keepers it 
is more than likely cut bone can be sold by the pound 
to neighbors. 

At the Ohio state university an experiment was 
made to test the value of green bone as a food for 
laying hens in connection with oyster shells and gravel. 
The trial was made with four divisions and two pens 
in each division, one of old hens and one of pullets, 
ten to each pen ; first division were fed green cut bone, 
crushed oyster shells and gravel, second division received 
green cut bone and gravel, third division crushed 
oyster shells and gravel, fourth division gravel only. 
In the first the ten pullets laid 140 eggs, the ten 
hens sixty-four, total 204; second division pullets 
115, hens eight}^ total 195; third division, pullets 
seventy-nine, hens four, total eighty-three; fourth 
division, pullets fifty-two, hens thirteen, total sixty-five. 

The first division received fourteen pounds raw 
cut bone, two pounds oyster shells and all the gravel 


they wanted. Second division received fourteen pounds 
raw cut bone and all the gravel they wanted. Third 
division received six pounds oyster shells and gravel. 
Fourth division received nothing but gravel. Counting 
bone at three cents per pound and shells at two cents, 
the hens fed with cut bone more than doubled in value 
of eggs. There was enough difference in those fed 
shells to more than pay for the shell, but left a narrow 
margin when fed with bone. Those fed bone more 
than doubled on those fed nothing but gravel, or by the 
test twenty cents per pound could have been paid for 
the cut bone, while eggs brought twenty-five cents per 
dozen. The hens that received the bone possessed a 
much better plumage and wintered much the better. 

It is a highly concentrated food and must be used 
cautiously. The only danger lies in feeding too much" 
or in feeding that which is sour or moldy. The one 
results in forcing the chicks or fowls "off their feed," 
and in leg troubles, and the other in diarrhea and bowel 
complaints. The maximum ration for laying hens is 
one-half ounce per day. 

The use of green cut bone not only increases egg 
production, but lessens the food cost of eggs. This is 
very clearty shown by an experiment carried out by the 
Hatch experiment station of Massachusetts a few j^ears 
ago with two lots of hens and pullets, nineteen in each 
lot, and continuing seventy-nine days from February 9. 
The food for one lot was in pounds as follows : Whole 
wheat 99.5, oats 100, wheat bran 18.5, wheat middlings 
18.5, Chicago gluten meal 18.5, ground clover 18.5, 
green cut bone 10, total 283.5, cost $3.25, nutritive 
ratio 1 to 4.8. The other lot received essentially the 
same food, except that in place of the green bone it 
got 9.7 pounds animal meal. The total food was 287 
pounds, cost $3.20, nutritive ratio 1 to 4.9. The lot 
receiving green cut bone laid 269 eggs at a cost of .940 


pound dry matter in food per egg and 1.2 cents for 
food consumed, while the other lot laid 145 eggs at a 
cost of 1.796 pounds dry matter and 2.2 cents for food 
consumed. This included the cost of labor for cutting 
the bones. 

Quite similar results were obtained in more recent 
experiments by the New York experiment station. 
Here it was found that for laying hens the rations 
containing animal food proved superior to others in 
which all the organic matter was derived from vegetable 
sources. The hens fed green cut bone laid more eggs 
and at a less cost per egg for food consumed. Pulleta 
raised on food containing considerable bone began 
laying much earlier than those fed corresponding 
rations made up of vegetable food. This point is of 
the greatest importance to poultrymen and farmers 
who know of the difficulty of getting late hatched 
pullets started to laying before cold weather sets in. 
Once get them laying, and with good food, care and 
warm quarters they will lay well during the late fall 
and early winter, when eggs are highest, but if they 
cannot be started before the holidays it is almost impos- 
sible to get any profit out of them before every other 
hen and pullet starts laying toward spring and the price 
of eggs goes do^vn wdth a thud. 

For raising young chicks and ducks green cut bone 
as a food has no equal. Nothing wdll approach it in 
putting on growth and weight, more particularly with 
ducklings than with chicks. Ducklings without an 
abundant supply of animal protein in the ration, 
together with a liberal proportion of vegetable matter, 
seem unable to make any approximation to their 
normally rapid and most profitable growth. 

Scrap bone is obtained at markets or packing 
houses, and the short soft bones with meat adhering to 
them are preferred. These are ground up in machines 


made on purpose, wliich are not expensive. The cut 
bone may be mixed and fed in the mash, but it is 
preferable to feed it alone. Fowls and chicks are very 
fond of it, and it is the best exerciser for them. 
Scatter it at noon in the straw or litter on the floor and 
there will be such a scratching for it as you have 
seldom seen. It is a good practice to feed it three times 
a week, although a little may be given daily. It should 
be fed at a regular hour on certain days, for when the 
hens get accustomed to it they are uneasy unless it is 
given them at the expected time. The only precautions 
necessary to observe are never feed too much, nor any 
which is tainted. 

The West Virginia experiment station has com- 
pared the value of bone and meat meal for egg produc- 
tion, with results decidedly in favor of the green bone. 

During a period of four months, beginning 
October 35, seventeen Plymouth Eock hens fed the fresh 
bone laid 650 eggs of an average weight of 11.75 
pounds per 100, while a similar number fed meat meal 
in their ration laid 551: eggs, weighing 11.91 pounds 
per 100. The fowls fed fresh ground meat and bone 
also increased more in weight and were much healthier 
during the experiment, four of the others having died, 
and being replaced by others. As this experiment was 
made with only one sample of meat meal the results 
cannot be considered conclusive. 

Horseflesh — In Anglo-Saxon communities there is 
a strong prejudice against horseflesh as food. The 
objection, however, can scarcely apply to the use of it 
as poultry food, since fowls consume far less attractive 
food in the course of their foraging and without injury 
to the egg and meat product. Writes J. J. H. Gregory, 
a veteran agriculturist of national reputation : 

"Some twenty years ago, tlie horse of a neighbor 
having met with an accident had to be killed. The 


animal was perfectly healthy and it occurred to me that 
his flesh would serve excellently for hen feed. I ac- 
cordingly offered a bag of meal for such parts of the 
carcass as I might choose to take, provided the owner 
would land the flesh on my place. The bargain was 
made, and the body having already been skinned, I 
found no great difficulty by the use of saw and knife 
in cutting up the largest part of the remains. These 
as soon as landed I packed in snow (it was early 
winter) in a couple of large sugar boxes which I kept 
out of doors with covers to protect from rain. The 
flesh lasted as the animal food for eight hens about 
through cold weather. I fed it raw, cutting it fine. 
Under it the hens were healthy and laid remarkably 
well, the eight averaging six eggs a day throughout the 
winter. The meat was fed very liberally. But not 
everyone indorses raising eggs on horse meat. 

"There was a society of old retired sea captains 
who used to meet at their rendezvous over the bank 
daily, to discuss the affairs of the world and express 
their emphatic opinions on the degenerate state of 
matters and things in these latter days. Honest old 
sea dogs that they were, they decided that Gregory 
ought to be prosecuted for selling eggs from hens fed 
on horse meat ! It is but the other day an intelligent 
man asked me my opinion on the subject, stating that a 
neighbor was about to kill a horse too old for service. 
That an intelligent man should ask such a question 
showed how widespread is a ridiculous prejudice. 

"What is the difference between the food of a 
horse and the food of a cow or ox ? Then can there be 
any difference between the flesh of either of them from 
a health standpoint? If it be conceded that it is but a 
matter of shrinking on our part from unaccustomed 
food, let us bear in mind that no hen has thus far been 
found troubled by any such qualms. It is certainly 


true that some horses die from diseases whose flesh we 
would not care to feed, but this would make but a 
fraction of their number unsuitable for hen feed, for if 
properly attended to the great number that it becomes 
necessary to kill because of injury tlirough accidents, 
and even the many who die from colic, if immediately 
dressed, as well as the large proportion whose lives are 
taken because the}^ outgrow their usefulness, all these 
can be more profitably utilized by sending them to the 
hencoop rather than to the manure pile. Where the 
poultry keeper lives near fertilizer works he has oppor- 
tunities to secure his hen meat as he wants it and at 
a very low figure." 

Fish and Turtle — When I get fish I cook it and 
mix it with the mash, using less of the shorts. From 
January to [May I can get fish once and sometimes 
twice a week. While pumpkins last I feed raw all the 
fowls will eat, also cook and mix them with the mash. 
I also have a pen in which I put muck and fresh fish. 
The hens pick out the maggots as they come to the top 
and I take the rest for fertilizer. I feed the young 
chicks, until they are old enough to leave the brooder, 
ground parched corn with a little shorts and all the 
insects and worms I can find. Fresh water, in iron 
dishes, is kept wliere they can get it all the time, and 
it is changed several times each day. I often dust 
laying and sitting hens witli flowers of sulphur and 
have no lice or fleas to speak of at any time of j'ear. 
I sometimes find a soft-shelled turtle, which I cook, 
chop up and mix thoroughly with shorts. Fish I some- 
times feed raw, chopping it very fine and mixing with 
shorts. I grind cabbage in a meat chopper and mix 
with shorts for tlie little chicks in the brooder. — 
[D. D. Doane, Florida. 

Whey Cream — One day, noticing chickens standing 
on the edge of the wlicy tub and pecking at the dried 


cream on the sides, I skimmed some and placed in a 
dish. They ate it all eagerly, although they were well- 
fed chicks, and subsequent feedings convinced me that 
it formed a valuable addition to their diet. On cooking, 
their flesh was exceedingly sweet and tender, and in 
no way had an oily taste, which many might raise as a 
possible objection. Doubtless if fowls are kept in close 
confinement and given little else but this waste cream, 
a characteristic oily flavor to their flesh might result. 
As it was waste matter that cost nothing, I considered 
its utilization in this direction a most profitable one. 
As is generally known in cheese manufacturing districts, 
all of the cream from whole milk cannot be worked into 
full stock cheese. It is this small per cent of unavoid- 
able waste, rising in the whey tub and either going to 
the hogs, or as a rendered product being utilized as 
cheese dressing, that I recommend all who can to try 
on growing chick^s. — [G. E. Newell. 

STcimmilk — One hundred pounds of skimmilk will 
make as many pounds of eggs or poultry as it will of 
pork or veal. With me the hen is the only variety of 
fowl that will use skimmilk. Geese and turkeys won t 
touch it. — [M. L. B., Vermont. 

Bulhj Food — Fowls need bulky food. For not 
only are bulky foods needed for the special forms of 
nutriment they contain, but to distend the crop an-l 
enable the fowls the better to obtain the nutriment 
from more condensed foods. Such foods as finely cat 
grass, clover and the like have a value greater than 
their analysis would indicate. Fed upon such foods 
in connection with more condensed articles of diet, 
fowls seldom contract the bad habit of feather pulling. 
This habit seems to be due to two causes: lack of 
animal matter and lack of bulky food. Given these 
two elements and feather pulling would hardly be 
known, unless it was introduced into the flock through 


some vicious individual Avliicli first contracted it 
through hick of tliese forms of food Such foods will 
frequently ])ut a stop to the habit after it has been 
contracted. — [ }I. S. Babcock, Providence County, Ii. T. 

Green Feed — Its value in abundance for laying 
hens is strikingly shown in an investigatioij made by 
the West Virginia experiment station. Forty White 
Leghorn hens and four cocks were divided into two 
similar flocks and placed in two houses, side by side, 
the middle of July. Botli flocks were allowed runs 
fifteen feet wide and 100 feet long, and both had access 
at all times to such grass and herbage as grew in the 
runs. In addition to this, one flock received an abund- 
ance of green food. At the end of the year, the fowls 
which, had the green food had laid two dozen more Qggi 
per hen than the other. 

Clover Pasture — In my locality, where we usually 
have some warm weather and but little snow during 
November and December, it pays me to sow crimson 
clover for pasture for the poultry. The land which 1 
use for market gardening adjoins my poultry yards, 
and my plan is to sow crimson clover as a catch crop 
between the rows of garden vegetables, then when the 
vegetables are gathered give the fowls the range of the 
field during the pleasant weather of the late fall and 
early winter when the other grasses do not supply green 
food for them. Crimson clover seems to be especially 
adapted to this purpose, as, unlike other clover, it 
remains green after the hard frosts of early winter. 
If it has been found that the crimson clover does not 
endure the winter in your section, then sow a 
little rye with the clover, and if the clover winter- 
kills, the rye will survive. With such a pasture for 
the hens now and some clover rowen dried and put 
away for later use, you are in the way to make a good 
profit from the hens next winter. — [W. H. Jenkins. 


^Special Feed Crops — Young lettuce leaves will add 
greatly to tlie liealtli and growth of the chickens. 
Onions sliould also be grown and kept for feeding. If 
chopped moderately fine, they will be eagerly consumed 
by fowls. Tobacco should also be grown and used to 
keep the stock free from lice. Pull the plants before 
frost, and hang them in the barn or shed to dry. A 
handful of tlie leaves in the nests of sitting hens will 
add a great deal to their comfort and more to that of 
the young. Beans, well cooked, either whole or ground, 
will help fill up the list of foods. Rape seed is easily 
raised, and would be useful for choice 3^oung chickens. 
Seeds of the common millet. Golden millet, sorghum 
and broom corn will make a variety in the list of good, 
cheap foods. Egyptian corn, a kind of sorghum, is 
valuable for 3'oung or old fowls. Barle}^ rye and oats 
are all acceptable to poultry. — [E. M. Hess. 

Cahhage — My experience with cabbage is that ahout 
the very best use one can make of loose heads is to 
make them up in sauerkraut; then as soon as worked a 
little, put where it will freeze, so as to keep them. 
Use it once a day as a part ration of food. They 
relish it very much. In this way one can supply a 
great amount of extra rations for the poultry that 
usually goes to waste. Put away in this way, one has 
a fresh supply in a small compass until grass comes. 
Use but little salt; for one large barrel I use only a 
teacupful. Pound it well, put heavy weights on and 
it will keep until warm weather. Keep in an out- 
building because of the odor. — [D. E. Hale, Allegheny 
County, Pa. 

Mangels — The yield of this beet, according to the 
amount of ground taken up by it and the time and 
expense of cultivating, is immense. It is little trouble 
to harvest and easy to keep in the winter, either in pits 
or in the cellar. If it is desirable to feed raw, the 


chickens will enjoy 2)ieking out the inside, if the Ijeet i? 
split from crown to root. If cooked, it can he cut or 
chopped and mixed with the other steamed or cookeu 
food. — [J. L. Irwin, Nemalia County, Kan. 

Onions will quickl}'' affect flavor of eggs or meat. 
So will muskrats. After removing tlie pelts of some 
that I caught one winter the carcasses were thrown 
in a field not far from the barn, where the hens ranged 
and fed on the meai. This produced such a musky 
flavor in the eggs that afterward care was observed to 
keep the dead rats out of the hens' reach. At a later 
period I purchased a quarter of beef from a farmer 
who, while fattening a number of steers, fed a large 
quantity of turnips. These so tainted the meat that 
it was decidedly distasteful, and when cooking there 
was a pronounced smell of turnips. — [S., Schuylkill 
County, Pa. 

Rice — While living in California, I was quite 
largely engaged for about ten years in raising poultry 
for market, both with incubators and with hens. I had 
trouble with young chicks on account of more or less 
diarrhea, sometimes but little, and again considerable, 
Init always some loss from it. Since coming to the 
islands, we have not been in the business extensively, 
but raise more or less each year. For three or four 
weeks we feed on broken rice and milk. We never 
have a case of diarrhea here or a sick chick, although 
they have to be kept in close quarters on account o-f the 
mongoose, but of course have to be kept clean, but are 
never let outside of wire fence until fully grown. If 
we had known the value of rice as a feed for starting 
young chicks, when in the business in California, it 
would have been several hundred dollars in our pocket^, 
if not thousands. — [I, S. Garnett, Hawaii. 

Nuts — When one has an oversupply of nuts, esp?- 
cially black walnuts and butternuts, they can be used 


to good advantage among the poultry, serving the pnr* 
pose of meat, the oil in the nuts being of the same 
nature. Crack them rather fine and the fowls will 
pick the shells clean in a sliort time. — [Marion Meado, 

Odds and Ends — ;Nrothing excels the scraps which 
accumulate on the table, including, as they generally 
do, vegetables, meat, etc. A farmer's table yields in 
the course of a year a large amount of bones, which, 
when ground or chopped fine, produce food far more 
valuable than grain for egg production. 

Various Foods — Old or damaged cheese is a good 
egg food. Popped corn from the factories is a cheap 
food, being equal to raw corn, pound for pound. If 
the corn is sugared, so much the better for fattening. 
Refuse bread, cake and crackers make convenient food 
for chicks and take the place of as many pounds of 
grain. Scorched grain at about two-thirds full price 
will do for a part of the ration, if not so badly burned 
that part will be left on the ground. Grain scre^ings 
are of doubtful value for fowls, but chicks will eat 
most of the seeds. 

Ground tanl'age from tallow and fertilizer fac- 
tories is the cheapest animal food, but if tainted or 
diseased, will cause trouble. The same may be said 
of dried blood. Eaw lights and offal from the 
slaughter house often cause disease, but are safe if 
cooked thoroughly. If fed raw, care should be taken 
to examine before feeding for traces of disease. 

Gluten meal is made from the chit or nitrogenous 
part of the corn grain and is the refuse from the 
manufacture of cornstarch. It contains nearly thirty 
per cent nitrogenous matter, whereas the pure corn 
meal contains only about nine per cent. Cottonseed 
meal and linseed meal of course are entirely different 
articles, but they are both very rich, cottonseed meal 


containing about foitv per cent of nitrogenous matter, 
and linseed meal fully thirty per cent. The new 
process linseed meal can he used without l)ad effects to 
increase egg production if judiciousl}- fed, hut the old 
process linseed meal, containing ten per cent of fat or 
oil, is too fattening for layers. This is one objection 
to cottonseed meal, which has twelve to thirteen per cent 
of fat, whereas the gluten meal has only about five per 
cent of oil. Proper care in feeding either of these 
concentrated meals will enable you to use them in the 
poultr}' yard. Begin feeding them very lightly, and 
increase as experience shows you can safely do. Xever 
feed such rich food exclusively — giA^e it in connectior^ 
with a variety of other stuff. 

Garbage from village or city swill will do to feed 
once a day to hens, if it is well cooked and mixed with 
ground feed of some kind. As long as hens thrive on 
this feed and remain in good health there is no 
objection to feeding it. 

Sour food induces ])owel trouble. Don't leave any 
about. Feed only what will be eaten within twenty 

Cider pomace will be eaten quite freely by fowls 
in winter and serves the same purpose as roots or green 
food, at less cost. Preserve the pomace in hogsheads 
or tight barrels and press down the contents with 
jackscrews or barrel headers. 


THE price of dressed capons in season is nearly 
equal to that of broilers, while the cost per 
pound to produce is far less. On many farms, 
a number of young cockerels are kept through 
the winter, growing but slowly and consuming their full 
value in grain by February. If these had been capon- 
ized the only added cost would have been a few minutes' 
time and the loss of perhaps one bird in forty as the 
result of accidents in operating, while the capon would 
\veigh at maturity nearly twice as much as the cockerel 
and bring five to ten cents more per pound because of 
his more soft and rich flavored meat. 

The idea applies especially well to late hatched 
and autumn chickens which are too small to sell during 
the holiday season. The pullets will make prime 
summer layers, and the cockerels caponized will come 
into market at the time when capon quotations are at 
their best, in late spring and early summer. If the 
house is warm and the winter not too severe they will 
grow fairly well all winter and will increase in weight 
rapidly as soon as milder weather begins. No surj^lus 
males should be kept over winter uncaponized. 

Finishing Capons — The plan described below is 
that used at the Ontario experimental farm, as related 
hj \\\ E. Graham. The illustration. Figure 8, shoAVs 
a capon ready for market. "The rations tend to pro^ 
duce a light, cream-colored flesh, which is in demand 
in the English markets and the high class Canadian 
trade. Where j^ellow flesh is in demand the addition 
of a small pro23ortion of yellow carrots, say one-sixth 
of the ration, would tend to deepen the color. Cotton- 
seed meal has the same tendency. 

Fisr. 8 — CAPOX duessed you maiiket 


'^Chickens and capons can be fattened to best 
advantage by confining tliem in small coops for three 
or four weeks previous to killing. The ordinary coops 
used for fattening purposes are made six and one-half 
feet long by sixteen inches square, inside measurement. 
Each crate is divided into three compartments and each 
compartment usually holds four chickens. The crates 
are made of slats about one and one-half inches wide 
and one-half inch thick. The slats run lengthwise of 
the coop on the top, bottom and back, the front being 
upright, with a small door arranged in each compart- 
ment. This coop we have found easily cleaned and 
convenient. Small V-shaped troughs are arranged in 
front, from which the fowls are fed and watered. All 
our experiments tend to show that this is the best way 
to fatten fowls. They do better than when at large, 
or when confined to small pens. 

"The feed should be of ground grain dampened 
with skimmilk or meat broth. Of eight different 
rations tried here for fattening purposes, we have found 
the following two the best: {a) Two parts ground 
corn, two parts ground buckwheat and one part fine 
ground oats, all by weight; (&) two pounds ground 
corn, two parts ground oats and two parts cooked pota- 
toes, all by weight. Ration a is relished by the birds 
and has made more rapid gains than I, but & ration 
is less expensive and has produced gain at a less cost 
per pound, while a has produced the most gain. In 
districts where buckwheat can be purchased for about 
thirty-five to forty cents per bushel, a would be a very 
advantageous ration to use. 

"Our method is to feed these rations from the 
small V-shaped trough for two weeks, after which the 
birds are forced by the use of the cramming machine. 
The machine-feeding lasts for about ten days. Nice, 
plump, fat chickens can be produced without the 


crammer if fed for about a week longer, but in our 
trials the}^ lack the uniformit}^ and evenness of con- 
dition which is characteristic of most crammed 

Ho7u to Dress Capons — First be sure and not kill 
them imtil crops are empty, and that they are fat. A 
thin capon is not as good as an ordinary chicken, 
because if not large or a proper capon they are not 
wanted as capons or chickens either. Leave feathers 
on neck from head down two-thirds wav to the shoul- 
ders. Leave feathers on two first joints of wings. 
Leave feathers on tail and lialf way up the back. 
Leave feathers on legs from knee joint two-thirds up 
the hips. All the rest of the feathers come off. 
Feathers that are removed should be saved and will 
sell if kept dry and clean. Be careful and keep the 
capon clean. Wrap paper around head. Appearances 
add to the sale and of course price. 

By F, H. Valentine, New Jersey 

The demand, consequently the market for capons, 
is a peculiar one. While there is a very limited demand 
during the entire year, the bulk of them are sold 
between the holidays and spring. The turkey holds the 
place of honor at Thanlvsgiving, divides it with ducks 
and geese at Christmas and New Year's, and when these 
are past, there is more inquiry for capons, which con- 
tinues till April or May. So little call is there for 
them outside of this season, tliat many, if not all 
dealers, cease quoting prices at other times. 

The profit in capons is a mooted question. It will 
not pay to perform the operation on any but tlie larger 
breeds, and there are many individuals and many 
localities where it will not pay at all. While good 
capons usually sell for somewhat higher prices than 

TO rixisii A^^J dkess capons 71 

roasting cliickens, the difference in price between the 
two is less than formerl3^ In Boston, it is said that 
the larger part of the capons are dressed clean, and 
sold as "south shore roasters." A capon must be fed 
for so long a time before marketing that the feed bill 
eats up a large part of the extra price. 

Many poultrymen say that there is more profit in 
keeping pullets for eggs in the space that would be 
occupied by capons. But locality and circumstance 
must decide this point. A poor capon will bring no 
more than a chicken. The small sizes of capons, about 
five or six pounds, sell quite readily, but at lower prices. 
The large ones, weighing nine, ten and twelve pounds, 
or even more, bring higher prices per pound. They 
take the place of turkeys to a considerable extent. 

The methods of dressing vary somewhat for 
different markets, and it is wise for the grower to learn 
from the dealer or commission merchant in the market 
to which he purposes shipping as to any special demands. 
They are usually, and always for best markets, dry 
picked. It is customary with most growers to leave 
on the feathers of the neck, tail and wings; some leave 
on more than others, but the carcass must show up its 
l)lump proportions and rich yellow color. For they 
must be well fattened. Sometimes I have seen capons 
in market, which were well gro^vn and fattened, but 
which had been scalded, badly dressed, feathers all off, 
and which sold for no more than the same grade of 
chickens. A little extra care in dressing and packing 
would have paid handsomely. Dry picking is some- 
thing tliat it seems impossible to teach except by actual 
practice. In short, it is a sort of knack with some 

Having them well dressed and thoroughly cooled, 
packing for shipment is important. Attractive appear- 
ance must be secured. Much of the poultry sent to 


market is packed in barrels, but neat boxes are much 
better. A box that holds a dozen large capons is a 
very good size. The}^ should be packed breasts up, 
head:? tucked under out of sight, in nice, even rows, go 
that when the cover is remaved, they may present an 
attractive appearance. This goes a long way toward 
making a sale, and at good prices, too. The cover 
should be marked with the name of the contents, the 
name of the consignor and consignee, and the gross 
and net weight, though for obvious reasons, most con- 
signees weigh all poultry received, unless it may be 
from some well-known shipper in whom they have 
learned from experience to place the utmost confidence. 
I have said nothing about the manner of killing, 
but guppose every 2)oultryman knows that the only way 
for the present-day markets is by sticking in the mouth. 
Fowls must be well bled, as this improves the appear- 
ance of the flesh. Crops must be completely empty 
when the birds are killed. Nearly all markets require 
birds to have heads and feet on, and to be undrawn. 
Formerly, Boston required them drawn, but that 
ordinance is no longer in force. During the capon 
season, the weather is usually such that no ice is 
required to keep in good condition, but if shipments 
be made during warm weather, icing will be necessary. 
Large, plump, well-fattened, neatly-dressed, attract- 
ively-packed birds fill choicest market requirements, 
and bring satisfactory prices. 




THE commercial or utility side of the poultry 
industry, while it has alwaj^s been the moving 
power thr-t drives the wheels of fancy, has now 
reached a stage in this country that will mark 
an epoch in its evolution. A new era has dawned. 
Xew forces are at work and they are powerful and 
capable of creating a revolution in methods. And this 
force once applied cannot do otherwise than succeed. 
This power is the great packing houses of the west: the 
Swifts, Armours and others whose facilities for buying, 
slaughtering and selling meat food products to the 
world are of such magnitude and their system so perfect 
that not a city, town or village in this, and but few in 
foreign countries, in which their products are not sold 
or their influence felt. To these great estahlishments 
and not to the producers themselves are we indebted for 
the new conditions. 

More than seven years ago one of them stated to 
the writer that nothing would please them more than 
to be able to enter foreign markets, not with better, but 
only as good poultry as those markets afforded. The 
reason it could not be done was because the American 
people have always set up as their standard of per- 
fection a fat carcass, yellow and plump, without regard 
to what that plumpness consisted of, the only 
material known to them to produce it being corn, and 
the result from feeding it being grease or fat deposited 
in layers under the skin and a pound or more in 
the abdominal cavity; the flesh being inferior, often 
stringy and tough, and tliat poultry in this condition 


would be almost unsalable in European markets. The 
American people with their reckless extravagance are 
willing to pay high prices for such poultry because it h 
the plumpest and best looking the markets afford, and 
when the meat is separated from the grease in trussing 
and cooking we are left but little edible portion, and 
that not of the best quality, deluding ourselves with the 
belief that we are eating a delicious morsel simply 
because we paid a high price for it. 

^N'o such extravagance is tolerated in any other 
country; poultry to many there is a luxury rarely 
afforded. Under such conditions we can readily under- 
stand why a fowl must be finished for market with the 
largest possible percentage attainable of edible portion 
as compared to bones and offal ; furthermore, the texture 
of the skin, shape, appearance and firmness of flesh to 
the touch, and entire absence of layers of fat in the 
dressed bird, and the white, juicy, finely flavored 
qualities when cooked are the points of excellence. In 
order to attain this a system of feeding far specific 
results became necessary. Instead of turning the birds 
loose to range at will and shoveling out corn to them, 
they confine them, limiting tlie exercise to small coops, 
and feed them on material that produces these results. 
The method of feeding varies in manner and material 
in different countries. 

The most successful and profitable poultry finishing 
locality perhaps in tlie world is Le Mans in 'Not- 
manc]3\ It is not uncommon for choice specimens to 
sell for twenty and twenty-five francs (four to five 
dollars) in the Paris markets and not over six pounds 
in weight. Such prices, however, are not obtainable 
outside of France, where their system of cooking and 
serving is so different from ours, making it possible for 
one fowl to serve tliree times as many jiersons as in any 
other countrv. 


The next most profitable district is the counties 
of Surrey, Sussex and Kent, England, where whole 
families are engaged in it, as were their ancestors for 
generations back. They know nothing else, they never 
have done and their children never will do anything 
else but fatten poultry for the London market. The 
method employed is both trough feeding and the 
cramming machine, some using one, some the other, 
and many a combination of the two. The trough alone 
is not so profitable but enables more fowls to be kept in 
process. Ten days of trough and ten machine feeding 
is more profitable, but the best results are obtained by 
machine feeding from start to finish, care being taken 
to not overfeed during the first week, gradually getting 
them up to full feed. These results are secured 
through the ability of the bird to digest and assimilate 
two or three times as much feed as it would consume 
from a trough if left to its own inclination. The food 
is made semi-liquid and no water or grit is given in 
addition to it, but it must be ground to a meal and be 
composed of just such material as will produce these 
results without sickening or injuring the bird. By this 
method they are able to add three or more pounds of 
meat to a four-pound bird in twenty-one days at what 
would be in this country a cost in feed of about eight 
cents per bird for the twenty-one days, and in turn make 
a profit not only on the weight gained but an increase 
per pound for quality and finish ; the perfectly finished 
bird having what fat it carries deposited in globules 
throughout the tissue, rendering it of that superior 
quality demanded. 

If these "fatters," as they are called, are able to 
buy the ten to twelve-weeks-old Irish birds sent over 
for this purpose at seventy-five cents each, pay the 
enormous prices they are compelled to for feed and sell 
their products at a profit, what is to prevent Americans 


not only sending such birds to the English markets, 
but from supplying their own with this most desirable 
meat ? Mr. Charles W. Armour, the head of the Armour 
packing company, in an interview on this subject pub- 
lished in the Kansas City Star of December 1, 1901, 
stated that "the American people will pay more for 
good food than any other people in the world," This 
is a significant statement from a man engaged in 
supplying the world with meat food. All that the 
American people need is a taste of this kind of poultry 
and the demand will exceed the supply. 

AVhen this demand sets in there will be a wide 
divergence in price between the thin and the finished 
stock. The best will go higher, the poor lower. While 
the thin chicken will always find a sale at some price 
to the fatters, the greasy ones will go begging for 

Canada has for several years been developing 
rapidly along this line. England naturally looks to her 
colonies first for what she needs and they are prompt 
to act on any suggestions from the mother country, 
and foster such industries as are susceptible of develop- 
ment on their soil. At Ottawa, Ont., Truro, N. S., 
and Bondville, Que., the fattening of poultry for 
the London market is carried on- extensively under 
government supervision, and they have standing orders 
for greater quantities than they can possibly supply. 

The climate of England is somewhat unsuited to 
poultry culture, being exceedingly damp and wet. 
Large poultry farms such as exist in this country are 
unknown there. While I believe it possible for those 
schooled in our methods of artificial incubation, brooding 
and rearing to adapt these methods to English climate 
and conditions, it remains to be done. There is no 
limit to the quantity this country can produce. We can 
supply every demand the foreign and home markets 


Impose upon us. If we can produce a good article the 
world wants it, but it will not do for us to try to force 
them to accept our false standard of excellence as theirs, 
at the same time knowing in our hearts that ours is not 
the proper, but simply a convenient one. We supply 
the world with the best beef; we finish our cattle up 
to the highest degree of perfection, and the quality 
governs the price. If we had refused to do so and tried 
to sell Europe our grass-fed steers and insisted that 
such were the best we could produce, they would have 
none of it, and our home market would be our only 

The reader may form some idea as to the qualit}'" 
and appearance of the best dressed poultry produced 
in England by the following. At the Smithfield 
(London) table poultry show held in December, 1901, 
the first prize winners shown and weighed in couples 

Buff Orpington pullets, 21 pounds 4 ounces; 
Dorking cockerels, 20 pounds 8 ounces ; farmyard cock- 
erels, 23 pounds 13 ounces; farmyard pullets, 17 
pounds 10 ounces; Pekin ducks, 15 pounds 3 ounces; 
turkey cocks, 59 pounds 3 ounces; turkey hens, 49 
pounds 10 ounces. 

There is nothing in the above that we cannot 
duplicate and even excel in weight and quality. We 
have only to adapt the necessary methods. The cram- 
ming machine produces the maximum results, but 
trough feeding will add from two and one-half to three 
pounds of flesh to a four-pound bird in twenty-one days 
by the use of proper feed, which of course is the 
foundation. A live three-pound pullet as it comes from 
the farm carries about six ounces of bone, twenty-one 
ounces of offal, and after cooking about eighteen ounces 
of edible meat. Here the percentage of waste to edible 
portion is excessive. The bird is now in its best con- 


dition to take on flesh, but tlie farmer, imniiiidful of 
tliis opportunity to convert feed into meat, ruslies her 
off to market. Tlie middleman steps in here and with 
but few dollars invested in capital, no risks incident 
to the production and maturing of the bird, takes 
advantage of the situation and the grower's indifference 
or ignorance, and in three weeks makes more than 
double the profit on a bird than the man did who 
raised it. He skims the cream. 

The following market quotations clipped from the 
Kansas City Star for December 6, 1901, perhaps tell 
the story more forcibly than we can; for after all the 
hard cash is the best argument : 

"Poultry — Exchange quotations, hens, alive 5 l-2c; 
roosters, young, 20c; old, 15c each; springs, 6 l-2c; 
ducks, 6c; geese, 4c; turkej^s, hens, 5c young; weighing 
over 7 lbs., 6c; young gobblers, 5c; culls, 5c; pigeons, 
50c dozen; squabs, per dozen, $1.25 and $2; dressed 
poultry, choice scalded stock in good condition brings 
Ic above live poultry prices." 

From an adjoining column on the same page y\'Q 
clip the following : 

"Specially fattened chickens; a toothsome meat 
particularly adapted to this season of the year. The 
newest offerings in poultry to be found on the market 
are especially fattened chickens which a local packing 
house is offering its patrons. Besides being unusually 
tender all the meat is as white as the breast. While 
these chickens have been fattened primarily for the 
English trade, their popularity is likely to become as 
widespread at home as abroad. Like all choice morsels 
they sell at high prices. A pound costs eighteen cents, 
in the shops, and buyers are offered their preference 
of either dry-picked or scalded stock." 

What reason or excuse can be advanced that will 
justify the producer in selling his pullets (springs) at 


six and one-half cents, less express and commission 
charges, when if properly finished they will fetch him 
at least double per pound. Not theoretically or on 
paper, but in fact as it exists to-day. He would never 
dream of selling an unfattened steer or hog for slaughter 
because the opportunity is his to convert grain into 
meat at a profit. He takes advantage of this slower 
and more expensive method but ignores the quicker and 
more profitable one. His eyes are being opened, how- 
ever, and the true situation is becoming apparent. The 
revolution is at hand, and when the American people 
undertake it aright they will show the foreigner a clean 
pair of heels in this as we have in many other lines. 
The business has already assumed large proportions in 
the west. The Armours at Kansas City alone are 
killing 10,000 fowls a day and they are but one among 
those now engaged in it. They predict that in two 
years they will be killing twenty times this number 
daily. If the home markets will not consume them the 
foreign will. There could not possibly be a greater 
stimulant to the poultry industry than these big estab- 
lishments have injected into it, and the time is close 
at hand when cramming machines may be as common 
as churns. We already make a better and cheaper 
machine than the English. In the meantime let the 
cry go forth : "Better poultry and more of it." 

The chief requirements for profitable and successful 
fattening are simple and easily obtainable. First is 
proper feed, of which ground oats is always the basis. 
I know of no better mixture than 100 pounds ground 
oats (with hulls sifted out), ten pounds corn meal, five 
pounds clover meal, five pounds blood meal and one 
pound salt. A suitable shed or building is required 
that can be well ventilated and darkened, and if it can 
1)0 kept at a temperature of about sixty degrees, the 
greatest economy in feed and most rapid gain in flesh 


will result. For best results, a cramming machine is 
indispensable during the last ten days, as the birds 
will not eat half as much as tliey are capable of 
digesting and assimilating at this time. "With the 
machine we insist upon and control the question of 
gain, instead of leaving it to their uncertain and well- 
satisfied appetites. 

The above formula is the best I know of for pro- 
ducing the finest quality of meat and a white finish. 
If a yellow finish is desired, the corn meal can be 
increased and the ground oats decreased up to equal 
parts, but the birds do not stand up nearly so well under 
it. They also become irritable and indulge in feather 
pulling and quarreling. When fed in troughs the above 
materials, after having been thoroughly mixed dry, a 
suitable quantity is stirred into sour skimmilk or 
buttermilk, and made just stiff enough to not run. 
For machine feeding it is mixed to the consistency of 
cream. In the latter case the fowls need no water, as 
there is sufficient liquid in the mixture, but in trough 
feeding give them coarse sand for grit three times a 
week and water to drink twice daily. 

Neither water nor sweet skimmilk will take the 
place of sour milk or buttermilk in the feed. It would 
cause bowel disorder unless an abundance of green food 
were fed with the sweet milk, which would make it 
safer, but this would be troublesome and unsatisfactory. 
Water will not answer at all. 


The most desirable l)irds for fattening are Ply- 
mouth Eocks, Wyandottes or Orpingtons. A cross of 
Light Bral:ima with Eocks or Wyandottes also makes a 
very desirable bird and finishes very nicely, taking on 
flesh rapidly and making a fine appearance on the 
stalls. The common mixed stock as it comes from the 


farms docs very wcl], especially when the American 
breeds predominate. The}^ should be cooped when 
between three and four months old with the framework 
neariy grown. 

The cockerels should be taken before they crow. 
It is a slow and uncertain task to undertake to fatten 
matured males profitably, and with matured females 
there will be some of them that will begin laying 
instead, of taking on flesh, especially if in good flesh 
when put in. There is nothing difficult or uncertain 
in the business. It is simply one of turning feed into 
meat. It requires good judgment and a knowledge of 
the requirements and habits of the bird or animal we 
undertake to fatten, and a little experience teaches us 
how to get the greatest gain in the shortest time. The 
markets are ready for the product as soon as finished, 
and prices are always such as justify the attempt to 
produce meat of this quality. 

By W. H. Allen, Jr., Massachusetts 

The market requirements in regard, to dressed 
poultry are more exacting to-day than ever before. 
This is not only true with poultry, but ther same con- 
ditions exist with cattle, sheep and hogs. A well-fleshed 
product not only weighs more, but brings more per 
pound, and in the case of poultry, the difference some- 
times amounts to ten cents per pound. It is possible 
in a lot of chickens to have some that are in very good 
flesh, but how to have them all well fleshed and able 
to command the top price, is something that has been 
sought for a long time. 

Increased Use of Macliines — That fattening by 
cramming fulfills this purpose must be readily acknowl- 
edged by the large number of cramming machines in 
use to-day. There is a party in Ohio who uses twelve 


crammin<x machines, fatteninn^ some 20,000 fowls every 
month. In tliis connection, I nii^i'lit state that prc- 
viousl}^ tliis party ran tliirty incuhators, raising tliou- 
sands of cliickens yearly, besides producing thousands 
of dozens of eggs for the market yearly. But he has 
found so much money in fattening by cramming that 
lie has given up raising poultry and eggs for the market, 
and his thirty incubators are idle and for sale. There 
is a party also in Iowa using twenty-two cramming 
machines — a party in Illinois who fattens on a very 
large scale, fattening thousands yearly, a party who 
supplies the White Star line with poultry fattened by 
cramming, and they take all he can supply. The 
Armour packing company of Davenport, la., has a 
contract for 500,000 ha.nd-crammed poultry. 

The greatest industry of Clarinda, la., is fattening 
chickens for the London market. At the central station 
here butter, eggs and poultry are received from a 
radius of seven tj^-five miles and to the value of 
$2,000,000 annually. This company is the oldest in 
Iowa, and has other stations at Keokuk, Burlington and 
elsewhere, handling between $5,000,000 and $6,000,000 
worth of dairy and poultry products each year. The 
feeding house at Clarinda accommodates about 7500 
chickens which are fattened by cramming appliances. 

Advantage of Special Methods — By this means the 
weight of the chicken is increased from thirty-five to 
fifty per cent. The flavor of the meat is much improved 
and the selling value greatly advanced. The process of 
fattening is not secret, as has been represented. The 
Clarinda poultry company is anxious to teach the 
farmers how to do it in order that they may improve 
the value of their chickens by proper food and care. 
They do the same thing with steers and hogs, and there 
is no reason why they sliould not fatten their cliickens. 
The feeding machine will eventually be a common 


adjunct with poultry raisers, because the one who does 
use it will ])roduce so much better birds than the one 
who doesn't use it that the one who does not employ the 
machine will see that to command the price for the 
birds of the one who does use it, he must use it himself. 
The reason for this is the almighty dollar; in other 
words, "results." 

When chickens, especially cockerels, run at large, 
while their appetites are good they lead too gay and 
active a life to lay on much flesh. If they are cooped 
up and fed from troughs they may eat a little, but they 
are not active enough to create much of an appetite, 
and as they have previously led an active life they are 
not contented at being confined, consequently they eat 
little comparatively. In other words, they have not 
appetite enough to eat all the system can assimilate. 
JSTow when the cramming machine is used it matters 
not whether the bird has an appetite. That bird is fed 
all it can possibly assimilate. The food should be so 
prepared that the fowl can assimilate it with the least 
possible exertion on the part of the digestive organs. 
When this is done the bird has assimilated so much 
more food than when fed otherwise that it is in much 
more flesh and commands much better price. It leaves 
a profit that well repays for the extra work of feeding 
each bird by machine. 

The birds will stand this high feeding for a certain 
time, which is between two and four weeks, and take on 
a surprising amount of flesh. But there comes a time, 
if kept up, when the reaction seems to set in, and the 
trick is to get those birds off to market before that time 
or before the reaction has set in so far as to have done 
any harm. This is generally known and understood 
when ducks are fattened in large quantities. By a little 
experience one can master the process and would not 
then think of being without a cramming machine. 


Cooping and Care — In fattening put each bird in 
a stall b}' itself, as shown in Figure D. Several can 
be put together and good results obtained, but event- 
ually one will learn that it is much more satisfactory 
to have each bird in a stall by itself. Do not build the 
coops stationary, but of a size easy to handle, for when 
stationary it requires too much time to whitewash, 
which should be done after each lot is taken out. The 
best and cheapest coop is made of laths nailed on to 
a frame, being four feet long, seventeen inches high, 
eighteen inches wide. On the bottom nail two or three 
laths, leaving a space of one inch between laths. This 
will leave a space both back and front of bottom for 
droppings to go through, and so keep the coop clean. 
This space must be left both back and front of the 
bottom, as a bird will turn around so long as it can 
get its head up. These coops can be set up from the 
floor and the droppings scraped up from the floor. But 
if space is to be economized, pieces a little longer than 
the hight of the coop should be nailed on to the four 
corners to serve as legs. Then a tray can be put -under 
each coop and coops put on top of each other three or 
four high. The coop will keep clean, and by cleaning 
the trays out every two or three days, the air in the 
room will keep sweet. Gypsum or land plaster is a 
good disinfectant, and it is well to sprinkle the bottom 
of the trays with it after they have been cleaned out. 
To whitewash make a trough a little larger than the 
coop, put about ten inches of whitewash in it. Put 
in coop, turn over, and the job is done. 

How to Feed — Wheel the cramming machine up 
to the coop in which are the birds to be fed. Take the 
bird in the left hand, holding its feet and flight feathers 
of the wings in the same hand, stretch out the neck 
and push onto the feed tube of cramming machine, 
being sure end of tube is in crop. Keep the fingers of 




the riglit hand on crop and press tlie treadle with the 
foot. At first, feed the bird lightly. After a few days 
the crop can be filled full. See Figure 10, which showf? 
several cramming machines in a large plant. Several 
types of cramming machines are shown in Figures 11, 
13 and 13. 

As to the feed, some use one thing, some another, 
but do not feed too much corn meal. Be sure to use 
pulverized charcoal in the feed, about three pounds to 
100 pounds of feed. It is a peculiar characteristic of 
fowls that they can assimilate a large amount of fat, 
and this point should not be overlooked when very best 
results are desired. The food should be mixed to a 
consistency of thick cream, and to be sure the food is 
all right take note of the droppings. They should not 
be watery, but of a consistency to hold together. If 
the fowls have been fed right, it will be noted that they 
gain most during the second week. 

The main points in fattening by cramming are to 
watch 3'our birds and know the amount of food to give. 
It is well to slightly ferment the food before feeding. 
This may be done by mixing the food up twelve to 
twenty-four hours before feeding. If the weather is 
cool the food should be put in a warm place. 

Figuring the Profit — The difference between fat- 
tening fowls by cooping and feeding by trough and 
feeding by cramming is the extra weight of flesh that 
is put on. x\side from the fact that a good many birds 
actually lose flesh when cooped and fed from troughs, 
those that do well do not gain nearly so much as those 
fed by machine. Xow the cost of time of feeding in 
trough is less than when the machine is used, but the 
cost of time when fed by machine is not over three 
and one-half cents per bird for three weeks. If the 
bird fed by cramming machine weighs four pounds at 
start of feeding, it should weigh six pounds after fat- 


tened. But after fattened it would sell for at lea^t 
four cents more per pound than before fattened. In 
the first instance at twelve cents per pound, forty-eight 
cents; in the second ninety-six cents; but cost of feed 
for three weeks is twelve and one-half cents, cost of 
time three and one-half cents, leaving a net i:)rofit of 
thirty-two cents. 

It is but the difference between actual cost and 
selling price tliat must be considered in business, and 
this is the real reason why the cramming machine is 
of such benefit to poultrymen. 

I started fattening by cramming, because I h:id 
known from many years' experience that much of my 
market poultry was not in condition to command the 
highest price. Furthermore, a market poultryman who 
was in a position to know told me that if one could 
fatten poultry successfully by cramming, there was more 
money in that line than in any other, as there was 
always a dearth of fanc}' j^oultry in the market. I 
finally started to make a cramming machine, but had 
no literature on the subject, nor ami:hing to go by. 
From a coffee pot and a baking powder can, I rigged 
up a reservoir and cjdinder for holding feed. A spout 
was soldered to the can and a stout wire with a cap 
used for a plunger. This was connected to a foot lever 
forcing out the feed. 

I constructed a coop with the front and partitions 
of wire, divided into seven stalls, and put in seven birds. 
These were fed on one-third bran and two-thirds coarse 
corn meal, but they did not gain in weight. The pump 
broke many times, and it was changed this way and that 
until finally perfected. It took longer to feed these 
seven birds than it does now to feed 200. 

Before the next lot of l)irds was put in, the coops 
were changed somewhat, and the windows darkened. 
I got the pump to working better, but had to stop and 

Fig. 11 — ^.i.]\rEracAN- poultry cramming machine 



fill it for about ever}^ tliird bird. When I had finished 
the lot, some were heavier than when originally put 
in, and some were not. For the third lot, I bought 
bolted corn meal where previously I had used common 
coarse meal, and to the mixture of one-third bran and 
two-thirds meal, I added a little charcoal. To my 
surprise, the birds did much better than before. In 
fact, they all gained, though some of them precious 
little. Of the twenty-one birds, I lost seven. I was 
so anxious to give them a square meal that I not only 
filled the crop, but the windpipe also. 

I made more coops and kept at it, for the market- 
men gave me gi-eat encouragement in the way of prices 
for those I fattened, and I saw the good dcrllar ahead 
if once I could cut out the loss. I kept losing birds, 
but at length I awoke to the fact that I was feeding 
each bird the same amount of food. So I changed 
about, and gauged the amount of feed by feeling of 
the crop. The percentage of loss decreased perceptibly, 
and by constant patience and untiring energ)^ I grad- 
ually lessened that loss so that to-day it is about 
nothing:; in fact, with most lots, none at all, and in 
cases where they do die it is a bird that was sickly at 
time of coo-ping up. I now make better than $30 on 
each 100 birds fattening three weeks. I have had lots 
of birds gain three pounds or more, and the greater 
number two pounds, the first two weeks. The birds 
never look more healthy than when they are ready for 
market. Tlieir feathers are sleek, their combs red, their 
eyes bright, and they are well filled out. They gen- 
erally bring six cents per pound more than otlier 

"With regard to the coops, it took but one lot to 
convince me that there should be a part of the bottom 
left off at the back for the droppings to go through, 
otherwise it made an unsightly mess. I have the coops 



SO arranged that a great deal of time is saved in feeding. 
I usually feed from 225 to 250 per Lour, but I have on 
occasion fed 330. The coops are on legs with a tray 


underneath to catch the droppings, and in that way I 
put them tliree high and economize much floor space. 
The front is so arranged that when the lath is pushed 
up it stays there, and after I put the bird back, give 
the lath a gentle tap and it drops in place. 



THERE are approved methods for fattening, viz. : 
(1) from the trough, (2) by hand, (3) by 
funnel, and (4) by machine. The first systejn 
has already been referred to, and is chiefly 
employed for the production of half-fattened specimens, 
which may either be kept in the ordinary pens or in a 
house and run, which can be moved on fresh ground 
as often as is necessary. It is fitted with troughs at 
either side. One of these appliances, six feet long by 
three feet wide, is large enough for a dozen birds, and 
is a suitable form for ordinary farmers. In Belgium 
the famous Coucou de Malines are fattened entirely 
from troughs, they are kept in closely covered sheds 
during the entire process. 

Hand Feeding — Some of the finest fowls which are 
produced both in England and France are crammed 
by hand ; but the process is slow, so that it is only 
suitable where labor is abundant and cheap. In a large 
establishment it would be impossible to get through the 
work if hand cramming were depended upon. The 
food is mixed to a thick paste, and formed into pellets 
or boluses about three-fourths inch long and one-half 
inch thick. There are two ways in which feeding takes 
place. In one a number of pellets are prepared, the 
operator takes hold of the bird's head, gripping it 
between his l)ody and left arm, opens the mouth with 
the thumb of his loft hand, dips the pellet into whey 
or milk, inserts it in the mouth and presses it down 
the throat with his finger, and then carries the food 



into the crop by running his thumb and finger down 
the outside of the gTillet. The second plan varies 
somewhat. The operator sits upon a stool, with a lot 
of paste and a bowl of milk or whey before him. The 
bird is placed upon his knees, its legs held firmly by 
them, the left hand holding the wings, and he places 
a small quantity of food, after dipping it in the milk, 
into its mouth, allowing it to swallow in the usual 
manner, there being no actual cramming. Both of 
these methods are very simple. In some instances a 
combination of these two methods is adopted. The 
birds are kept in cages, to which are fitted troughs. 


After each meal the attendant goes round, feels the 
crop of each fowl, and crams a few of the pellets when 
it is thought necessary to do so. 

Cramming hy funnel is largely carried on in south- 
ern N'ormandy. In this case the food is made into liquid 
form about the consistency of cream. A specially made 
funnel, tlie nozzle of which is carefully turned to 
prevent injury to the bird's throat, is inserted into the 


pjiiliet until the orilico enters the crop, wliicli can h^' 
felt by the finger, and tlie food is spooned therein until 
the crop is full, when the funnel is withdrawn. In 
operation the process requires a much shorter time than 
it takes to descril^e, but care must be taken, or there is 
danger of choking the fowl. These funnels, Figure 14, 
can be purchased at a reasonable price, and splendid 
quality of flesh is produced in this manner. 

Cramming hij macliines is found to be most 
expeditious, and the 'first cost is speedily saved in the 
labor bill. An expert operator can feed as many as 
250 birds an hour, so that the duration of the insertion 
is very short. ]\ranY have the idea that this sj^stem is 
a cruel one, but it is not. A careless or inexpert 
operator can hurt the subject, but it does not pay him 
to do so, as any injury to the throat or mouth would 
cause inflammation to set in and the bird would die. 
The tube which is passed down the throat is of india 
rubber, flexible, and as the cartilaginous rings of the 
neck are flexible, it enters quite easily. The way in 
which the fowls anticipate the feeding time, after the 
first two or three days, shows how they regard the 
operation. The machine largely used, shown in Figure 
12, has a horizontal cylinder, and is operated by a 
foot lever. A is the reservoir for the food; 5, the 
pump cylinder; E, the piston rod; G, the spring foot 
pedal and piston back again ; K, nozzle and food tube ; 
M, stop for regulating quantity of food; 0, lever and 
treadle. For use in these machines the food is made 
semi-liquid, about the consistency of very thick cream, 
which is placed in the reservoir. The operator moistens 
the tube with milk to make it pass easily, takes the 
tube in his right hand, the bird's head in the left, the 
bird itself being held firmly under the left arm. Then 
with the assistance of the finger and thumb of the right 
hand he opens the bird's mouth, and slips the fore- 



finger into it to hold down the tongue, quickly inserts 
the end of the tube, and, holding the neck perfectly 
straight at its full length, pushes it down four or five 
inches, according to the size of the bird. At this 
moment the heel of the right foot, which up to this 
time has been resting on the treadle, is depressed and 
forces the contents of the cylinder into the crop until 
it is sufficiently charged. When the crop is full enougli, 
the tube is withdrawn, care being taken to relieve the 
pressure on the treadle for a second or two before taking 


the tube out, otherwise a small quantity of the food 
will continue to flow after the tube is removed. The 
quantity of the food can be regulated to a nicety, and 
the great thing is to cease pressure the moment 
sufficient has been placed in the crop. 

The most important point in connection witJi 
fattening poultry is to give the food regularly, and if 
there is any remaining in the crop from the previous 
meal not to give any at all. Several of the French 
cramming machines are for liquid food, and attached 
to them is a piece of india rubber tubing, fitted with 
a spring tap or nozzle, so that the birds can be fed 


in pens without taking tlicm out, the liquid flowing 
when the sj^ring is released. In this case the nozzle 
only is placed in the mouth, not pressed down the 
throat. The head must be held well up and the neck 
stretched to allow of easy swallov\^ing. 

French Methods — Without exception, the food in 
France is always prepared from finely ground meal, 
liard corn never being employed. Buckwheat meal, 
maize meal and barley meal are used. With one or 
other of these is used skimmilk, but in several districts 
of France the whey of curdled milk is preferred, and in 
the La Bresse country the latter is thought to give bettor 
perfection in fattening and improve the quality of the 
flesh. Some of the fatteners are content to mix hot 
water with the meal, but all acknowledge that milk or 
whey is better. In some cases, boiled potatoes are 
mixed with the food. In some parts of France, fat is 
mixed with the food. It is customary when the older 
birds are to be fattened to divide them in accordance 
with their sex and kind. See Figure 15 for illustration 
of fattening and killing sheds. 

English Chiclcen Fattening — In England a number 
of people make a business of fattening chicks for the 
market. These chicks are bought of farmers when 
weighing three to four pounds and then prepared for 
market. Professor Eobertson, commissioner of agricul- 
ture for Canada, thus describes a visit to a chicken 
fattener in Sussex, England : He began life as a farm 
laborer and is now doing a prosperous business. I 
would not like to say how much the fattening business 
brought him in, but I should not be surprised to learn 
that his annual net income was about $5000. 

He has on an average 4800 chicks fattening at his 
place. In approaching the house I went down a lane, 
lined on both sides with coops in which there were 
chicks. Other coops were placed about the place. The 


special buildings required for this purpose are very 
cheap affairs and not at all large. Two-thirds of the 
fattening is done in the open air. He rears only a small 
portion of the chicks which he fattens, and has a man 
wlio goes around on certain routes every two weeks, 
collecting chicks from farmers, who raise them to about 
three and one-half pounds live weight. 

The coops in which the chicks are put for fattening 
are about six and one-half feet long, sixteen inches wide 
and sixteen inches high inside. Each coop is divided 
into three compartments and in each one of these are put 


five chicks. The coops are made of sticks or rods with 
a sliding door in front of each compartment. (See 
Figures 16 and 17.) 

The chicks are fed about three weeks, but some- 
tim^es longer or less, according to their condition when 
received, and the activity or dullness of the market. 
They are fed on oats ground very fine, the hulls being 
j)ulverized until they are almost like dust. This is 
mixed with skimmilk, either sweet or sour, but prefer- 
ably sour, to a consistency of thin porridge, so that 
it will drop but not run off the end of the spoon. It 


is tisuall}^ fed raw in a Y-sliapecl wooden trough placed 
in front of each coop. The chicks are fed a small 
amount of this three times a day at first. They are 
kept hungry for the first week and after this are fed 
twice a day as much as they will eat. During the last 
ten days a small quantity of tallow is added to the 
mixture. This is melted and mixed with a small 
portion of meal, when it will mix readily with the bulk 
of the feed. A pound of tallow to seventy chicks is 
given at the beginning of the ten days' feeding and 
gradually increased to one pound to fifty chicks. 

Summary of English Methods — The following 
rules have been drafted by one of the most successful 
south-countr}^ f atters : 

In fattening fowls, the actual amount of food 
supplied goes only a little way in the production of 
flesh as compared with the conditions under which the 
birds are kept. 

There is a difl'erence in the readiness in which 
fowls fatten, even of the same variety. Large framed 
birds, well grown, produce the finest specimens. 

"Where first quality birds are to be turned out, 
those selected should be placed in a large outside run, 
and for the first three or four weeks fed on no more than 
one meal a day. They are then removed to the pens, 
and the food gradually increased in quantity until they 
have as much as they can eat, when they are finally 
finished off by cramming, as already described, this 
last stage occupying three weeks. The object of the 
treatment is to gradually build up the flesh upon the 
frame. It is not suitable for young chickens, which are 
fed right off, and is not usual for ordinary fowls. 

When cramming commences, each bird should be 
placed in a separate i[)(m, or two to six together in 
larger compartments, if of the same age and sex, in a 
quiet, sweet, And if possible, rather dark room or shed. 



and for the first few days be fed from a trough, finish- 
ing off by the crammer. 

Before a bird is crammed, the crop should be felt, 
and if there remains any food in it from the previous 
meal, no food is given until the next time of feeding. 
Observations should be made as to the quantity assim- 
ilated, so as to give a fowl each time as near as possible 
just about as much as it can digest. Should a bird 
show any sign of sickness, it should be placed in an 
open run for twenty-four hours without food. To aid 
digestion, grit may be given in a dish before each pen, 
and boiled nettles mixed with the food two or three 


I I 



i! I : 



times a week as an aid in keeping the blood cool. 
Young chickens may be fed three times a day, but for 
older birds twice a day is much to be preferred. 

It is customary in England to give a small quan- 
tity of fat during the latter stages of the process, and 
this is found to give a softness to the flesh which is very 
desirable, but the amount should not be large, or the 


grossly fattened specimens wliicli are so oljjectionable 
vvill be i^roduced. Xone whatever is mixed with the food 
whilst the fowls are being fed from the troughs, but 
when put onto the crammer, a quarter of an ounce 
should be allowed :^or each bird per day, or a table- 
spoonful for four fowls, gradually increasing it to 
double that quantity. Fat may be bought in barrels 
for this purpose ready for use, but in most of the 
larger towns butchers' scraps can be purchased at a 
cheap rate, and should be clarified and stored ready for 
use when required. It must, of course, be melted and 
thoroughly mixed with the meal and milk. It is some- 
times found, especially during hot weather, necessary 
to keep the blood cool. A little flowers of sulphur is 
useful to this end, but some of the fatters boil nettles, 
and, after chopping, mix in the same manner. 

Fowls should be fed twice each day, and at regular 
times. The exact hours will vary in accordance with 
the season of the year. In summer six o'clock in the 
morning and six o'clock in the evening will be the most 
suitable, but in winter eight in the morning and four in 
the afternoon will be better. In this case the evening 
meal should be fuller than the morning. 

Routine of a German Plant — Twenty-four hours 
after the chicks are hatched they are moved into cages. 
The cages are simple, having straight lattice fronts, 
which vary in space between bars according to the age 
of the birds. Sliding doors facilitate cleaning, and the 
cages vary in size, for as twenty birds are kept together 
they need more space as they grow. Out of these cages 
they never go. Before them is a constant supply of 
food, made of maize meal and buckwheat meal mixed 
with milk, for several cows are kept on the farm. A 
little phosphate of lime is given for bone and feather 
formation. Each room is warmed, and yet there is a 
constant supply of fresh air, but it must pass around 


the stove ere entering so that the birds are kept in an 
even temperature. Treated in such a way, many 
chickens are ready for killing at six weeks old, while 
all meet their fate ere they attain two months. At 
this latter age many weigh three pounds each, and the 
prices per pound yarj from twenty-two to thirty cents, 
according to the season. They are killed on the spot 
and dispatched in various ways. The German parcels 
post being chea23 tends to develop business. In summer 
ice is used for packing. In 1890 9000 chicks were 
reared in this manner, in addition to 1000 sold alive 
at two to three days old. Several hundred fat fowls 
of four or five months were sold, but these were reared 
outside and fattened in cages, on the French plan, 
accommodations being provided for 300 birds in 
another building. 

Below the pens, which are made in sets of six, is 
a long board similar to that employed in canary cages, 
kept covered with earth, and the droppings fall upon 
this tray through the bars at the back of the floor, the 
latter being solid only half way in. The cages are 
simple in construction, having a sliding bar in front, 
and stand upon short legs. The food trough runs the 
whole length af each set of six. The cages are six feet 
long, one foot six inches deep and one foot nine inches 
high, divided into six compartments. The tray is 
three inches deep and slides easily in and out, the legs 
being carried six inches below the pen proper. 

Foods Used — In Belgium finely ground buckwheat 
is universall}^ used, and this gives very good results. 
In France buckwheat meal and fine barley meal are 
used very largely, both of which are very good, but by 
reason of the greater amount of lime in oats they 
certainly are the best. 

With meal should be mixed sour skinunilk, butter- 
milk or whey free from curds. In Sussex, England, 


the whe}^ alone is adopted, and one of the largest fatters 
sometimes pays $100 a week for milk during the busy 
season. Whole milk would not only be more expensive, 
but the butter fat in it is not necessary, and other fat 
can be substituted at a much cheaper rate. Surprise 
is often expressed that sour rather than sweet milk 
should be used. In practice it is found that the former 
gives better results, the acid generated by the turning 
of either milk, buttermilk or whey causing more rapid 
action than would be the case if it were sweet. Not 
only is the milk itself soured, but when mixed witli 
meal, as is usually done immediately after feeding is 
over, it is allowed to stand for several hours, until a 
slight fermentation has taken place. The advantage 
of being able to use what is often waste products is 
very great, and on dairy farms the skimmilk and 
buttermilk can be thus made of great service. 


THE big Kansas City and Chicago packing houses 
are going into the chicken fattening business in 
a wholesale manner. One of them proposes to 
start branch feeding establishments to collect and 
fatten chickens for the main concern. Lean chickens, 
it is claimed, can be made to gain two pounds each in 
two weeks at a cost of two cents per pound, while the 
specially fattened bird will sell for three and four cents 
more per pound than the unfattened one. The fat- 
tened flesh is softer, richer and also lighter in color. 
At present only a part of the 10,000 fowls killed 
daily are specially fattened, but cage accommodations 
are furnished for about that number. Long rows of 
continuous coops are piled one on top of the other in 
a huge room. The chickens are kept in a dark room. 
Just before feeding time huge shutters which obscure 
the light are opened. These shutters are high on the 
sides of the building. The chickens, with the light 
turned on them, become active. Three times a day the 
chickens are fed and are permitted to eat for a half 
hour only. Long troughs run the entire length of each 
row of coops. The spaces between the laths are just 
large enough to permit the chicken to thrust his head 
out of them into the trough. Six chickens are confined 
in each coop and there is an opening for each chicken. 
It has been discovered tliat a chicken will eat twice 
as much if fed regularly three times a day as if per- 
mitted to feed all day long. Just as soon as the half 
hour's stuffing is concluded the room is once more 
darkened and the troughs taken down. The chickens, 
thoroughly satisfied, become almost dormant. For 




fifteen minutes before feeding they keep up a contin- 
uous crowing. Two minutes after the feeding not ?i 
sound can be heard in the chicken department. 

The food comprises a variety of grains ground very 
fine, cooked and fed moist. These stall-fed fowls are 
becoming very poj^ular at high prices wherever offered. 
Experiments are being made with the machine poultry 
feeders as used in Europe, and an American t3^e of 
the macliine has been invented. But at present nearly 
all the fowls are pen fattened. The plan may easily be 
followed by small producers, the essentials being quiet 
and darkness except at feeding time, and plenty of soft 
food in variety, with regular feeding. 

Progress in Canada — At the new chicken fattening- 
Btations in Canada the methods practiced are those by 
which the best grade of poultry is prepared for the 


E..glish market, the object being to fit Canadian 
poiJtry to bring the highest prices when exported, but 
the product is in demand in its home market also, ai 
advanced prices. The cliickens are bought from farmers 
at the weight of three to three and one-half pounds live 
wei^'ht, choosing the l)roods likely to fatten well, anrl 
Avith white or lij^ht yellow legs, paying for these thirty- 
five to sixty Ct^iil-? per pair. 



The chickens are put in small open lattice coops 
and fed on ground grain, chiefl}^ oats mixed with 
skimmilk. During the last part of the process they 
receive an allowance of tallow. Four to twelve chickens 
are kept in each coop. The grain is gi'ound tine and 
mixed with skimmilk, sweet or sour, sour being 
preferred. The mixture resembles cream or thin por- 
ridge. At first, food is given three times a day for the 
first ten days, then twice a day. At the end of the 
second ten davs the cramminsj machine is used. Tallow 



fed during the last ten days is melted, thickened with 
meal and then mixed with the porridge. It is the rule 
not to feed at all until the crop is empty from the last 
meal. The cost of food in some recent experiments 
was 6.43 cents per pound of live weight gained. 

For twentj^-four hours before killing, the birds are 
not fed. Tliey are bled through the mouth, plucked, 
l)ut not drawn. A ring of feathers about two inches 
long is left at the head of each bird. They are shaped 
on a shaping board, cooled, wrapjDcd in a piece of clean 



bro\^Ti paper, leaving the neck and head projecting at 
one end and the legs at the other. Shipping cases for 
twelve fowls are 33x19x6 1-2 inches. The financial 
side of one experiment foots up as follows: Cost of 
chickens, fifty-four cents; food, thirty-three cents; ship- 
ping cases, three cents; freight, commission, etc., eigh- 
teen cents: total cost, $1.08 ner pair. They sold for 
$1.76 per pair. 



The result of the second year's work was con- 
sidered on the whole much better tlian the result of 
the first at every station. The knowledge and ability 
can be acquired only by experience. In a locality where 
a station was opened, the first year the farmers had not 
the right sort of chickens to fatten well. Breeds of 
chickens like Leghorns and Minorcas do not fatten 
profitably. The fattening of them is like trying to 
fatten Jersey steers as against Shorthorn bullocks. 
Tlie Plymouth Rocks and Wyandottos give far l)etter 
results in fattening than tlie smaller breeds. At 


\Yhitby, Ont., in 1000, were fattened 131: chickens, 
which cost 55.8 cents per pair. The feed was valued 
at $1.20 per 100 pounds for ground oats and fifteen 
cents per 100 pounds for skimmilk. At these rates the 
feed cost 23.2 cents a pair; the cost of shipping cases 
2.2 cents a pair, ocean freight and cartage 7.8 cents a 
pair, selling commission six cents a pair, express charges 
in Canada from the shipping point to the seaboard 




3.6 cents a pair. The whole cost was 97.6 cents a pair, 
and these were sold in Manchester for $1.28, leaving 
thirty cents a pair for the labor and profit. 

The fattening coops are made of frame and slats 
in a simple manner as shown by the illustrations. Fig- 
ures 18, 19, 20 and 21. A coop for twelve birds is six 
feet long, fifteen inches square and nineteen inches 
high. These are kept on stands as illustrated, being 
placed in sheds or outdoors in a sheltered place. The 


chickens are fed twice a da}-, the food heing placed in 
the trough in front, and the droppings fall througli 
the slats to the ground. Some chickens were fattened 
on the ground, but those in coops did better. It was 
found that nothing could take the place of skinunilk, 
which was used thick and sour about twice as much by 
weight as of grain. The manure was of some value, 
and the feathers, averaging four ounces per bird, 
brought seven cents per pound. 

The following is the Canadian fattening expe- 
rience boiled down in a practical wa}-: The most 
profitable period for fattening is four weeks. Don't 
overfeed the first week. Eemove food left over. After 
first week give them all they Avill eat. Feed twice a 
day. Grain should be ground very fine. Skimmilk 
makes flesh and wdiitens it. Use a little salt, and 
supply w^ater and grit. Feed tallow the last ten days, 
mixed hot with ground grain, beginning with one pound 
tallow to seventy or 100 fowls and increasing to one 
pound for fifty to seventy. Kill lice wdth sulphur 
rubbed under wings and tail. The feeding machine 
will increase the gain the last ten days, but should not 
be used longer. Stuff only when the crop is empty. 

The following in tabular form shows the results 
in 1900 from some of the best Canadian stations: — 

Gain ix Weight. Cost of Feed. 

®.VhIv-- ^f' Total ^I'll^^ Total ^"il'^' 

30 days r^^j, each ^^.^ 

Lbs. Lbs. f eta. Cti. 

Whitby, Ont 134 263 2. 13.55 5.1 

" ' 25 61 2.44 3.27 5.3 

Bondvme, Que 50 U2Vi 2.85 7.96 5.6 

Truro, N. S 30 78 2.6 3.38 4.3 

Alberton, P. E. 1 126 SHVa 2.5 16.12 5.1 

Totals 365 858% 2.35 44.28 5.27 

Feeding Fowls in Yards — The results of several 
comprehensive trials by the Maine experiment station 
prove conclusively that confinement in small coops as 


practiced abroad is not necessary for the best or cheap- 
est gains. Prof. G. ^l. Gowell has made six group 
trials of close confinement as against partial liberty in 
fattening chickens. Different foods were also tried, 
but in each case they consisted of a mixture of ground 
grain and by-products wet up with either water or 
skimmilk. The trials comprised the use of thirty-five 
separate coops and six houses. In these lots there were 
fed 321 chickens of different ages in periods of 
twenty-one, twenty-eight and thirty-five days each. 
The occupants of the coops were weighed weekly to 
note the gain. In eleven of the coops, containing four 
birds each, gains were gTeater than in tl'te houses and 
yards containing from twenty to sixty-eight birds with 
which they were matched. In the twenty-four other 
coops the gains were less than in the houses and yards 
with which they were similarly matched. In five of the 
six trials gains were greater in the houses and yards 
where birds had partial liberty. 

The results show that close cooping is not necessary 
in order to secure the greatest gains in chicken fatten- 
ing and that the chickens make greater gains when 
given a little liberty than when kept in close confine- 
ment. Not only did they make greater gain in weight 
but less food was required to make a pound of gain. 
The labor involved in caring for birds in small numbers 
in coops is much greater than in caring for an equal 
number in houses and yards. In all the trials the 
greatest gain was made in a feeding period of thirty- 
five days. Forty chicks confined in the- coops gained 
an average of two and one-quarter pounds each, while 
twenty chicks of like age and condition fed in a house 
and yard gained two and one-half pounds each. The 
trials also show that the greatest and most economical 
gains are made with 3'oung fowls. In twa trials birds 
wh^^h wore ninety-five days old at the beginning of the 


feeding period, which continued for twenty-eight days, 
gained twice as miicli as birds in other trials which 
were 160 days old at the beginning of the test, which 
in this case lasted but twenty-one days. 

Tlie main requirements for economical gain seem 
to be the partial confinement of young fowls and feeding 
them twice daily on a suitable mixture of ground feed. 

Home Metliod — I have fattened for market this 
season over 100 cockerels and have settled on this method 
as best. They are confined two weeks in a coop or pen, 
given plenty of room and air, but where drafts cannot 
strike them. Low roosts are provided, a dust bath, 
though I liave never seen them use it, and boxes of grit 
and oyster shells. I make low benches of overturned 
soap boxes, on wliich I place their pans of food and 
milk, that they may not readily be soiled or spilled. — 
[Clarissa Potter, Maine. 

To Fatten Poultry Quicl'ly — The following direc- 
tions are sold by a concern which advertises them as a 
method to fatten poultry, especially turkeys, in "four 
or five days," Boiled rice is the standard remedy for 
bowel troubles of turkeys, but as a regular fattening 
ration would prove expensive compared with corn. 
Sometimes slightly damaged rice, rice powder, sago or 
tapioca can be bought cheap. "Set rice over the fire 
with skimmed milk, only as much as will serve once. 
Let it boil until the rice is quite swelled out ; you may 
add a teaspoonful or two of sugar, but it will do well 
without. Feed them three times a day in common 
pans; give them only as much as will quite fill them, 
at once." The addition of sugar, molasses, tallow, etc., 
to the soft feed hastens fattening, but does not 
ordinarily pay unless these materials can be bought for 
n])out the price per poimd of grain. Milk is of great 
value fed with soft feed, and is worth more fed to 
fattening fowls than to pigs or calves. 


TOO many fowls are still dispatched by cutting off 
the head ; a method tolerably good for home use, 
but with disadvantages when applied to market 
poultry. A fowl killed this way weighs less, loses 
in appearance and dry picks a great deal harder than 
when killed in expert manner. A bird killed in a 
bungling or second rate style is evidence of the beginner 
or amateur, and fowls so treated are quite likely to be 
poorly fattened and carelessly dressed and packed. 
In poultry marketing, as elsewhere, the money is made 
by those who learn the best methods from start to 

Yet it should be noted that in some localities and 
in certain markets, particularly those of small towns, 
the best classes of poultry are sent to market beheaded 
and scalded or otherwise mishandled from an expert 
point of view. It may not be wise for the beginner to 
go contrary to the best practice of his market in such 
details. A careful examination of the best carcasses 
of the various classes of poultry will show what the best 
trade expects. Judgment must be used. The grower 
who is building up a choice private trade may safely 
introduce changes which are improvements, but which 
would require some courage and push to work success- 
fully for shipment to a lar^e town. In some places 
there is considerable "missionary" work to be done, but 
the best methods will no doubt prevail everywhere as 
they become more discriminating. At present the 
market sections which are most careful and notional 
about poultry are also those where the best prices may 
bo obtained. 



In preparing poultr}' for market the following is 
the usual expert method employed: The fowl to bo 
killed is held, with the back up, far enough under the 
left arm so that the neck is stretched when the arm is 
extended. The head being grasped in the hand, with 
the forefinger holding the mouth open on the under 
side, the knife, preferably one with a sharp narrow 
blade, is thrust into the mouth as far as possible, as 
shown in the first of the series of six illustrations pre- 
pared for this chapter by T. H. Ta3dor, Jr., forme:" 
instructor at Ehode Island poultry school. A quick, 
strong cut is made up through the roof of the mouth, 
causing the fowl to bleed freely. The large wing and 
tail feathers are the first ones pulled and while the 
fowl is bleeding, the picker holding the bird by the 
wings close to the body with the head toward him, as 
shown in Figure 22. By this time free bleeding will 
have stopped. Still holding the fowl in the left hand, 
it is struck once or possibly twice on the head with a 
I dub to stun it and prevent fluttering in a great 

The picker now sits beside an open box, the top of 
^rhich comes on a level with his knees. The fowl's 
head is thrust into an old boot leg tacked on the side 
of the box and is held there by the picker's knees; 
the wings being held between his knees. The legs are 
lield in the left hand while he picks with his right: 
Ihe breast feathers first, then the back and leo:s, finish- 
mg with the small wing feathers, with the exception of 
the first joint, which is left unpicked. While picking 
the fowl is always held stretched out and the feathers 
])ulled toward the head. As they are pulled they are 
thrown into the box. The feathers being removed, the 
picker uses his knife to pull the pinfeathers, the thumb 
of his right hand and the blad( acting as tweezers, as 
■^ihown in Figure 23. 

be E- 

P^ PH 


The finished fowl is shown at the left in Figure 
23, the wings being folded back to give a sym- 
metrical appearance. Tlie fowl is then thrown into 
clean cold water to cool. After remaining about an 
hour in the water, it is taken out and allowed to drain, 
and is then ready to pack for. shipment. The above 
method applies to ducks, geese and turkeys, except that 
with ducks and geese the pinfeathers are usually 
"shaved/^ Although called shaving it is more truly 
cutting, a sharp vegetable knife being used with a 
quick drawing motion to cut them off. 

Turkeys are generally hung up by the feet, then 
stuck and the wing and tail feathers pulled, and, after 
being hit on the head, taken down, and the same 
methods employed as with fowls. 

A prominent western poultryman describes a 
slightly different method: "In killing, hang the 
chicken by the legs by a slipnoose at a hight convenient 
for the picker, say four and one-half feet. Clasp wings 
between fingers of left hand, also raise head and hold 
between thumb and third finger of same hand, holding 
the beak open. Hold knife in right hand. 

"The stroke of the knife, if properly made, enters 
the brain and also cuts large arteries. The fowl bleeds 
freely, closes its eyes and seems paralyzed. Picking 
should begin at once before the muscles jerk and stiffen. 
Begin with the breast, carefully if tender, to avoid 
tearing. Xext the tail and along the back of the neck. 
Then the wing butts, neck and fluff. Finally clean off 
the remaining feathers and hand the bird to the pin- 
featherers, who are usually women. By practice a fowl 
may be picked in less than two minutes. It is impor- 
tant to draw most of the feathers right after sticking 
in order to pluck fast and without tearing. If the 
skin is badly torn it should be sewed after pin- 


^'Fowls to be scalded are stuck more deeply and 
the blade twisted a little during the stroke, causing 
them to bleed fast and die quickly. "When dead hold 
in nearly boiling water one minute, but keeping out the 
legs and head. All but the large feathers can be rubbed 
off in a moitnent, using care not to needlessly rub away 
the skin.'' 

The place to cut is indicated in Figure 24, also the 
approved style of killing knife, although a pocket knife 




of small to medium size will answer. The cut is of course 
made inside the mouth. On opening the bill the artery 
to be cut may be seen beneath the place marked a. 
Make a clean cut with the point of the blade so as to 
cut artery under point marked h. Figure 25 shows the 
operation, also a guide for the knife, which is a con- 
venience where large numbers are killed. The bird 
here is suspended by the legs, so thnt the head just 
enters the guide. The body is first slipped into a sack 
made from old grain bags, to prevent flapping and 
bruising. For grown fowls, the bag should be about 
twenty inches long, ten inches wide at the larger or 



top opening, gradually getting narrower until it is only 
five inches wide at the bottwn opening. The fowl is 
placed in the bag head foremost. Owing to the shape 
of the bag, the fowl slips down to that part o-f the bag 
that fits it after the style of a legging. The head of 
the fowl comes through the small opening at the bottom 
of the ba^. 


Killing Duels — On one of the largest Long Island 
duck farms the ducks killed are arranged as follows: 
Two posts are planted in the ground about ten feet 
apart. The posts are either mortised or a notch sawed 
in them near the top, five feet from the ground. A rail 
is then spiked in these notches, and strings fastened 
to the rail with loops to hold the feet of the ducks. As 
many pegs are driven in the ground underneath the 


rail to correspond with the number of strings. To 
these are fastened a short piece of wire, the top of 
which is bent in the shape of a hook, which is fastened 
into the duck's nose. This prevents the duck from 
swinging its head around and soiling its feathers with 
blood. In dressing, the breast feathers are removed 
as soon as possible. The feathers on the head, a few 
on the neck, the flights in the wings, and the tail 
feathers are left on. Duck feathers bring about forty 
cents per pound, which about pays for the picking. 

Foreign Methods — In France there is a plan of 
sticking followed, which offers advantages to the inex- 
perienced. A special knife is employed. It is fitted 
with a long, narrow blade, sharpened on both sides. 
The bird is taken, its legs tied together, and laid upon 
its back; the mouth is then opened with the operator's 
left hand, and the point of the blade inserted into the 
slit which will be found in the fowl's mouth. One firm, 
sharp cut is made right along the skull from back to 
front, piercing the brain most effectually. To do this 
properly the knife must be forced right through to the 
back of the skull, and the brain cut along its entire 
length. The bird should be hung for a few minutes 
to allow the blood to drain away, when plucking can 
take place. If the operation is properly performed 
death is very speedy, and there is only momentary pain. 
Care must be taken to cut the brain as described or the 
bird's death will be a slow one. 

Wringing the Necl- — Fowls intended for export 
from Canadian ports to England are killed by wringing 
the neck. Much of the blood flows into the parts 
around the head, from which it is drawn away by a 
small cut. The bird should be held firmly by the legs 
in the left hand, the head in the right l)etween two of 
the fingers back of the skull, the back of the bird 
upward. The legs are then pressed against tba left 



hip, the head laid against the right thigh near the knee. 
Xext the fowl should be rapidly and firmly extended 
or drawn, and at the same time the head is suddenly 
bent backward, by which means the neck is dislocated 
just below the junction witli the head, and death 
immediately ensues, as all the large vessels are torn 

If fowls are to be killed by 
the beheading process, a mechan- 
ical guide, as shown in Figure 
26, helps in keeping the bird in 
position and in guiding the blow. 
The spikes are far enough apart 
to slip the head in between. One 
person can easily hold legs and 
chop head off, which is much easier than striking hit 
or miss. 




AFTER raising the poultry we do not take pains 
enough in preparing it for market. This 
chapter will be devoted to an account of the 
standard methods in vogue for poultry intended 
for the large market cities. 

The birds should not be fed for at least twelve 
hours before killing. Turkey's should be picked while 
warm; for best markets never scald, as it injures the 
sale. Pick carefully and do not bruise or tear the skin. 
After picking, remove the head, strip the blood from 
the neck and take off a portion of the neck bone. Just 
before packing draw the skin over the bone, tie and 
trim neatly. 

Poultry should be entirely cold before it is packed, 
as it is almost sure to spoil if any animal heat remains. 
Even if it should not injure, its ill appearance would 
probably secure the condemnation of the health inspec- 
tor. Turkeys should be laid straight and packed in 
boxes lined with clean paper. Straw should never be 
used, as it creases the bodies, and the chaff gives an 
untidy appearance. Nor should turkeys be wrapped in 
paper. They should be packed as closely as possible, 
backs upward, legs straight, so that there can be no 
possibility of splitting. When packed in barrels they 
are cramped and do not present so good an appearance 
when taken out. The best boxes are of good quality, 
clean and made to hold 100 to 200 pounds. Larger 
boxes are inconvenient to handle and more liable to 

Mark the boxes plainly. The shipper should 
always be strictly honest and mark the quality, gross 


Aveight and tare exactly. x\ny attempt at deception will 
be discovered by the buyer, the commission house will 
have to make good all loss, and the shipper's mark will 
be subsequently avoided as unreliable. The address of 
the consignees should be plainly marked and the initials 
or shipping mark of the consignor. Full advices and 
invoices are usualh^ sent by mail at once after the 
goods are shipped. 

The bench shown, Figure 27, is convenient when 
picking and dressing fowls. It is made from a com- 
mon, plain table. One pair of legs are shortened to 
give a moderate slope, side guards are added to hold 



the feathers, which are caught in the basket. A hole 
is made for the neck of the fowl to drip through into 
the dish below. 

For most markets, the intestines or crop should 
not be '^drawn.^' For scalding poultry, the water 
should be as near boiling point as possible, without 
actually boiling. The bird being held by the head and 
legs, should be immersed and lifted up and down in 
the water three times ; this makes picking easy. When 
the head is immersed it turns the color of the comb 
and gives the eyes a shrunken appearance, wliich often 
leads buyers to think the fowl has 1)een sick. The 
feathers should then be at once removed, pinfeathers 
and all, very cleanly and without breaking the skin. 


It t^liould next be ^'plumped'' by being clipped about 
ten seconds in water nearly or quite boiling hot, and 
then at once into cold water fifteen to twenty minutes. 
Great care should be taken to avoid bruising or cutting 
the bones or flesh. It should be entirely cold and dry 
before packing, but not frozen. This is a matter of 
importance, for if packed with the animal heat in it, 
it will be sure to spoil. After scalding ducks and geese, 
wrap them in a cloth for about two minutes, when the 
down will roll off with the feathers. Guard against 
overscalding, as this will cause the skin to loosen and 
rub off. Underscalding is also undesirable, as the fowls 
are liable to become slippery during shipment. 

Western Methods of Dressing — Kill by bleeding 
in the mouth or opening the veins in the neck; hang 
by the feet until properly bled; head and feet should 
be left on, and the intestines and crop should not bo 
drawn. For scalding poultry, the water should be as 
near the boiling point as possible without actually 
boiling;- pick the legs dry before scalding; hold by the 
head and legs and immerse and lift up and down three 
times ; if the head is immersed it turns the color of the 
comb and gives the e3'es a shrunken appearance, which 
leads buyers to think the fowl has been sick. The 
feathers and pinfeathers should be removed imme- 
diately, very cleanly, and without breaking the skin; 
then "plump'' by dipping ten seconds in water nearly 
or quite boiling hot, and then immediately into cold 
water; hang in a cool place until the animal heat is 
entirely out; it should be entirely cold, but not frozen, 
before being packed. 

Dry-picked chickens and turkeys sell best, and we 
advise this way of dressing, as they sell better to 
shippers; scalded chickens and turkeys generally are 
sold to the local trade. To dry-pick turkeys and 
chickens properly, the work should be done while the 



bird is bleeding; do not wait and let the bodies get 
cold; dry-picking is more easil,y done while the bodies 
are warm. Be careful and do not break and tear 

the skin. 

Pack in boxes or barrels ; boxes holding 100 to 200 
pounds are preferable, and pack snugly ; straighten out 
the body and legs so that they will not arrive very 
much bent and twisted out of shape ; fill the package 
as full as possible, to prevent shuffling about on the way. 
An ideal package of dressed poultry is shown in Figure 


28. Mark kind and weight and shipping directions 
neatly and plainly on the cover. Barrels answer better 
for chickens and ducks than for turkeys or geese.. When 
convenient, avoid putting more than one kind of fowls 
in a package. Endeavor to market all old and heavy 
cocks before January 1, as after the holidays the demand 
is for small, round, fat hen turkeys only, old toms being 
sold at a discount to canners. 

For ^eese and ducks, the water for scalding should 
be the same temperature as for other kinds of poultry, 
but it requires more time for it to penetrate and loosen 


the feathers. It is a good plan after scalding to wrap 
them in a blanket, providing they are not left long 
enough to partially cook the flesh. Another method, 
and no doubt the best for loosening feathers, is to 
steam them, and, whenever proper facilities are at hand, 
we advise this process. It is poor policy to undertake 
to save the feathers dry by picking them alive just 
before the killing, as it causes the skin to become very 
much inflamed and greatly injures the sale. 

Do not pick the feathers off the head, and it is well 
to leave them on the neck close to the head for a space 
of two or three inches. The feet should not be skinned, 
nor the bodies singed for the purpose of removing any 
down or hair, as the heat from the flame will cause 
them to look oily and bad. The process of plumping 
and cooling is the same as with turkeys and chickens. 
There is no kind of poultry harder to sell at satisfactory 
prices than jooor, slovenly dressed geese and ducks, and 
those who send in such must not be disappointed at low 
prices. Xo poultry of any kind sent to the Chicago 
market sliould be drawn. 

Boston Produce Exchange Instructions — In fatten- 
ing for the markets, remember that you will not only 
get pay for every pound your j^oultry gains, but by 
improving the quality j^ou gain from one-fourth to 
one-half in price on the whole. This improved quality 
is more likely to be gained by feeding corn than other- 
wise. Give them all they will eat, and your poultry 
will be more yellow and better than that fattened on 
any other grain. 

Keep stock from food for twenty-four hours before 
killing; because food in the crop injures the appearance, 
is liable to sour, and consumers object to paying for this 
worse-than-useless weight. All poultry, but more espe- 
cially turkeys, should be killed by bleeding from the 
neck, and picked immediately, while the body is warm. 


Xo strangled, scalded, or wet-picked poultry will sell 
for more than half price. Always strip the blood out 
of the neck as soon as the head is taken off. The skin 
should then be peeled back a little and the neck bone 
rem'oved in the usual way. Just before packing, draw 
the skin over the end of the bone remaining, and tic 
and trim neatly. The wing and tail feathers must be 
pulled out clean, and the intestines drawn through as 
small an incision as possible. 

Be sure that poultry retains none of the animal heat 
when it is packed. It should be cold, but not frozen. 
Sort very carefully and have "Xo. 1" stock of uniform 
quality. Each quality should be in a separate box, 
containing not more than 200 pounds, as greater bulk 
is more inconvenient to handle and more liable to get 
damaged. Never wrap poultry in paper or pack in 
straw. Line the boxes with clean paper, pack closely, 
back upward and legs out straight. Before the cover 
is nailed down, see that there is no possibility of the 
contents shifting about. In shipping, mark kind and 
gross weight on the cover. The name or shipping mark 
of the shipper should appear thereon, as well as the 
address of the firm to which the package is sent. An 
invoice and full advices mailed as soon as the shipment 
is made will often save time and annoyance to both 
shipper and dealer. 

A Chicago Dealers Directions— In. the first place, 
poultry should be well fed and well watered, and then 
kept from eighteen to twenty-four hours without food 
before killing. Stock dresses out brighter when well 
watered and adds to the appearance. Full crops injure 
the appearance and are liable to sour, and when this 
does occur correspondingly lower prices must be 
accepted than obtainable for choice stock. Never kill 
poultry by wringing the neck. To dress chickens, kill 
by bleeding in the mouth or opening the veins of the 


nock; liang hy the feet until properly bled. Leave 
head and feet on and do not remove intestines nor crop. 
Scalded chickens sell best to home trade, and dry-picked 
best to shippers, so that either manner of dressing will 
do if properly executed. For scalding chickens the 
water should be as near the boiling point as possible 
without boiling; pick the legs dry before scalding; hold 
by the head and legs and immerse and lift up and down 
three times; if the head is immersed it turns the color 
of the comb and gives the eyes a shrunken appearance, 
which leads buyers to think the fowl has been sick; the 
feathers and pinfeathers should then be removed imme- 
diately very cleanh^, and without breaking the skin; 
then "plump" by dipping ten seconds in water nearly 
or quite boiling hot, and then immediately into cold 
water; hang in a cool place until the animal heat is 
entirely out of the body. To dry pick chickens prop- 
erly, the work should be done while the chickens are 
bleeding; do not wait and let the bodies get cold. Dry 
picking is much more easily done while the bodies are 
warm. Be careful and do not break and tear the skin. 

Pacl-ing and Shipping — Before packing and ship- 
ping, poultry should be thoroughly dry and cold, but 
not frozen; the animal heat should be entirely out of 
the body; pack in boxes or barrels; boxes holding 100 
to 200 pounds are preferable, and pack snugly; 
straighten out the body and legs, so that they will not 
arrive very much bent and twisted out of shape; fill 
the packages as full as possible to prevent moving about 
on the way ; barrels answer better for chickens and ducks 
than for turkeys or geese; when convenient, avoid 
putting more than one kind in a package, mark kind 
and weight of each description on the package and mark 
shipping directions plainly on the cover. 

Icing Poultry for Shipment — On this subject a 
Chicago commission dealer writes: "There is but one 


absolutely successful way to sliip iced poultry, and that 
is in crushed ice. It should be shipped in barrels that 
are strong, with holes in the bottom. First place a 
layer of excelsior on the bottom of the barrel, then a 
layer of crushed ice. Lay the fowls neatly together 
and then cover them with another layer of crushed ice. 
Keep this up until the barrel is filled. When the top 
is reached, cover the last layer of fowls with an inch and 
a half of ice. The finer it is crushed the better. Place 
over this some excelsior, and over the top burlap. Poul- 
try shipped in this way will never bruise, and arrives in 
the market in excellent condition. In several instances 
I have instructed my shippers to da this and once sent 
a grate bar to a heavy shipper and instructed him to 
pound his ice through this bar, so as to crush it. Ice 
crushed as is done for barrooms is the kind to use in 
shipping dressed poultry. The crushed ice seems to 
form a crust in each layer and keeps the poultry as sweet 
and nice as when first killed. All who follow these 
directions will have no trouble with iced poultry .'' 

Shrinkage — The feathers weigh three to four 
ounces. If the fowls are drawn and cleaned as for a 
choice trade, the feathers, blood, intestines, etc., 
removed will weigh seven to twelve ounces according 
to method of preparation and size of fowl. In small 
broilers the shrinkage may be as little as one-fourth 

Shipping Alive — Among those who have only 
small lots of poultry to ship or who have had little 
practice in killing and dressing for market, the practice 
is increasing of shipping alive. Some commission men 
make a specialty of handling live poultry. Instructions 
and advice should be written for in advance. Live 
fowls are usually in demand in summer and during 
certain Jewish holidaj^s. Great numbers of broilers 
are shipped alive in spring and summer. All live fowls 


are shipped b}^ express, usually in slatted coops with 
covered bottom. A reasonable amount of space should 
be allowed in the crate. Overcrowded fowls suffer and 
shrink in weight. 

Coops for live shipments should be forty-eight 
inches long, thirty inches wide, twelve inches high for 
chickens and ducks, and fifteen inches high for turkeys 
and geese. Use lumber as follows : Use two by two for 
corner posts or one by two will answer. If you cannot 
get them, get one by four and rip them in two. Cut six 
pieces thirty inches long, and nine pieces twelve or 
fifteen inches long, for each coop; nail the short pieces 
one at each end ; one in the center of the long ones (use 


tenpenny wrought nails). Make three of these frames, 
one for each end and the center. For the bottom use 
one-half-inch boards or lath, make the bottom tight 
(use sixpenny nails) ; use one-half by two-inch strips of 
lath for sides, ends and top ; put them one and one-half 
inches apart; the width of lath is about right. Leave 
two laths loose on top in center, or make a door of them 
to open, in order to put poultry in and take it out; 
now nail a lath around the coops, each end and the 
center (outside the three frames made first). This will 
keep the lath from coming off and make the coops 
stronger. For broilers the coops can be made ten inches 



high and twenty-four inches wide. This will make a 
good, strong, light coop. 

Family Poultry — For choice private trade, prepare 
in an especially attractive manner, as in the illustra- 
tion, Figure 29, in convenient shape for hoiling or 
roasting. Pick the birds carefully, wipe off any dis- 
coloration with a moist cloth, singe carefully and 
remove any remaining pinfeathers, and the bird is 
ready for cooking. Customers appreciate getting poul- 
try in just this shape. The feet can be left on, but 

WEI6HlrtO«_ ,t.b3.. 



.nei.i, ^... 


when customers have confidence in tlie one furnishing 
them poultry, this is not necessary. 

In exporting chicJcens for England, according to 
the advice of A. S. Baker, an English expert, select those 
weighing from five and one-half to six pounds eax^h. 
They should have the head left on, a fringe of feathers 
left around the head, and the tail and wing feathers 
should be left on. They should be picked dry, never 
drawn, and starved for twenty-four hours before killing. 
They should be packed in boxes holding one dozen 


chickens, vriih a partition in the center, six fowls on a 
Bide, packed heads and tails. The Dorking is the 
standard fowl of Knghmd. Canadian chickens weighing 
five and one-half to six pounds each bring eighty cents 
apiece, while those from the United States, which are 
much smaller and not speciall}^ fattened, bring but 
fifty-two to fift^'-four cents. (See Figure 30.) 

Killing and Dressing Squahs — The squabs should 
be killed before they get so large that they leave the 
nests. The standard size is eight pounds to the dozen. 
"With properly kept birds this weight is usually attained 
in four weeks with straight Homers, and five weeks 
with Dragoons, says "William E. Eice in Farmers' Bul- 
letin Xo. 177 of the United States department of 
agriculture. The squabs should be caught in the 
morning before the feeding and watering is done. This 
assures empty crops. Judgment must be used in select- 
ing the squabs, or some which are too light may be 
taken, causing a cut in the price. As caught, the 
squabs should be placed in pigeon hampers and taken 
to the killing room, which in cool weather should be 
heated to be made comfortable for the picker. Place 
the hampers within easy reach of the chair in which the 
picker is to sit, and have a basin of water close by. 
Directty in front of the picker, suspend in a horizontal 
position a ring of wood or iron, about a foot in diameter, 
and hang from the ring four cords eight inches long, 
terminating in slipnooses. 

Killing the Squahs — Catch a squab from the ham- 
per, and suspend it by passing one of the nooses around 
the legs, tail and wings, letting about two inches of tho 
ends of the wings project beyond the noose, and tighten 
it well. Insert the killing knife (sold for such pu^-- 
poses) well into the back of the mouth and draw it 
forward, cutting clear into the brain. Hang a weighted 
wire in the bill and let the bird bleed. The wire is six 


inches long, hooked and pointed at the upper end, and 
weighted at the lower end with a piece of lead the size 
of a hulled walnut. Four birds are killed in turn, and 
picking begins on N'o. 1 as soon as dead, Novices may 
kill and pick but one at a time until some speed is 
gained, but an expert picker will kill four and "rough 
pick" them all before they get too cold. 

Dressing the Squabs — Allow the birds to remain 
suspended, but release the wings, grasping them both 
in the left hand back of the bird. Moisten the thumb 
and fingers of the right hand in the pan of water, and 
begin picking the neck, leaving about three-quarters of 
an'^inch next the head impicked. Still hold the wings 
m the left hand until the entire front of the hird, leg? 
included, is picked. Then, bringing the wings in front 
of the bird, hold in the left hand as before, and remove 
the balance of feathers from the body. Now, with 
wings still in left hand, pluck quills from both wings 
at once, and also the larger feathers, and then finish 
each wing separately. This completes the ''rough 
picking," after which they must be pinfeathered, in 
which operation a small knife is helpful. An expert 
picker, when he has finished the third bird, kills three 
more so that they may be bleeding while he is at work 
with the fourth. As soon as finished each squab is 
dropped into a tub of cold water to drive out the animal 
heat and make the birds more firm and plump. An 
expert picker can kill and ''rough pick" twenty squabs 
an hour or completely dress twelve to fifteen in the 
same time. 

It pays well to use care in picking not to tear tlie 
skin or leave any feathers on the birds. Well-fattened 
birds are seldom torn by the expert picker. The 
weighted wire is of advantage in slightly stretching the 
skin and making it less liable to tear. When all the 
squabs are dressed, the feet and mouths must be thor- 

13;3 rouLTHY feedixg axd fattening 

oug-hly -u-asliofl of all filth and blood; they should be 
placed again for a lew minutes in clean cold water, and 
then hung on a drying rack for five minutes to drain. 

Marl-ctincj — If the squalls are sold to a local dealer, 
they may be taken from the rack at once, placed in a 
suitable basket, and delivered immediately. If they 
are to be expressed to a distant market, packing in ice 
is necessar}^, and a box or barrel must be used. Place 
a layer of cracked ice at the bottom, alternate with 
layers of birds and ice, and finish with a generous top- 
ping of ice. Only in quite cold weather is it safe to 
omit ice. Place a secure covering on the package and 
mark full directions to whom shipped, as well as your 
own address, and the number of birds. 

S quads for Marl'et — If squabs are killed before 
they can fl}^ the flesh is white, but after that it darkens, 
reducing the value from one to two dollars per dozen. 
Those raising them for market should keep the old ones 
well supplied with food so that the young may become 
13lump and fat. P. H. Jacobs advises: Always dry 
pick them, and remove all of the down. Leave on the 
heads, and leave the entrails in. Have them thoroughly 
cooled before packing, then ship by express. The rules 
for picking and shipping squabs apply to broilers. 
Leave all the feathers on the neck and the large onea 
on the wings and tail. Slips are dressed the same way. 
They are readily selected from capons by the growth 
of their combs and swelling of the spurs. These 
usually sell for several cents per pound less than the 


THA^^KSGIYI^^G turkevs brh.g good money to 
those who can raise and put them on the market 
at that season. They must be fat, well matured 
and of good size to bring top prices, which means 
early hatching in spring and good attention in rearing. 
Turkeys are birds of a roving disposition and will not 
bear confinement well. They should be fed at least 
once, and; better, twice a day all through the summer 
and fall. The night feed may be old corn and the 
morning ration a mash composed of equal parts corn 
meal, ground oats and wheat middlings, mixed up with 
skimmilk. Farmers do not generally appreciate the 
value of milk for fattening poultry. For two weeks 
before killing time the turke3's can be confined if neces- 
sary, in a yard or pen, and fed all they will eat of the 
above feeds, but it will not do to shut them up longer 
than this, or they will lose instead of gain in flesh. 

Put tlieni in a shed not too light, but with an open 
front to admit air. Provide broad, low perches, ample 
feed troughs and dishes for water and milk. Corn meal, 
bran, cooked potatoes, oats and buckwheat are good 
fatteners : also a little cheap tallow or suet in the soft 
food. They cannot digest their food properly without 
plenty of gravel or grit. Feed only what food they will 
eat up clean. Before killing for market keep feed away 
from them for twenty-four to thirty-six hours, so that 
the crop and intestines will be well emptied. Hang 
up by the legs and kill by bleeding through the mouth. 
Plunge the knife through the roof of the moutli into 
the brain, when the bird will at once relax and not 
flutter. Have a barrel near by and strip off the feathers 


at once. By being fairly quick one can pick a turkey 
clean before it has stopped bleeding and the feathers 
have had a chance to set. The tail and large wing 
feathers of the first joint are often left on, but if not 
they should be pulled carefully, one at a time, after 
the rest have been picked. Where the turkey is wanted 
for the family it may be scalded before picking, but for 
the market should be picked dry. Let hang to cool 
thoroughly before packing. 

A Chicago commission dealer, who handles large 
quantities of poultry, advises the same methods as given 
on Page 125 for preparing chickens, but always dry pick 
turkey's. Dressed turkej^s, when dry picked, always sell 
best and command better prices than scalded lots, as 
the appearance is brighter and more attractive. 
Endeavor to market all old and heavy gobblers before 
January 1, as after the holidays the demand is for small 
fat hen turkeys only, old toms being sold at a discount 
to canners. 

A turkey producer and shipper of long experience, 
J. M. Cooper of Schenectady count}^ IS". Y., thus 
summarizes the approved methods of finishing and 
preparing for market: "A good appearance with the 
turkey is essential for top prices. After the year's care 
of raising and feeding, do not allow from one-half to 
several cents per pound to be rubbed off because of 
hasty, careless or improper dressing or packing. This 
feature should receive as much attention as do the 3'oung 
poults in early spring. A well-picked, clean, untorn 
turkey, delivered in sound and attractive condition, will 
sell for much more than one bruised, torn and poorly 
cleaned. This finishing work takes l)ut little time or 
money, 5^et it pays handsomely. I feed scalded corn 
meal twice a day and whole corn at night for three 
weeks before killing. T have never shipped turkeys to 
market, as there is a good demand for tliem in the city 


near by. In dressing, I alwaj^s scald ; it is less work and 
they sell better in our markets. When turkeys are 
shipped to market, dry picking is best. 

"If turkeys are mature enough to kill by Thanks- 
fiving, I kill half of the flock two days before the 
l.oliday and save the rest until Christmas. If they did 
not begin to lay early, they will not be mature enough 
to fatten and dress well by that time; we are then 
obliged to wait until Christmas and New Year's. Small 
lots of medium turkeys will sell readily here at any 
time late in the fall, but large ones are not wanted 
except at holidays. Turkeys dressed in the very best 
shape to suit the market to which they are taken will 
sell for one-fourth more per pound than just as good 
ones carelessly dressed. Late, thin turkeys with pin- 
feathers and broken skin are a nuisance in a market 
and a loss to raiser, dealer and consumer. After I take 
prime dressed turkeys to a market I find it easy to sell 
there afterward at a little above market price. Most 
people are too careless to learn to dress turkeys nicely, 
or fail to see the importance of it. 

"I confine them at least twelve hours without food 
before killing. A strong person should hold them by 
the wings near the body, another person cut the arteries 
on each side of the neck close to the head, with a knife. 
Hold the bird as long as it struggles; if not held they 
will bruise themselves. I kill two turkeys for every 
picker before I scald, and dress those before I kill any 
more. A turkey should be dressed in fifteen minutes. 
I have a six or eight-pail boiler on the stove, with four 
pails of boiling water and a barrel full of cold water 
ready, put nearly one pail of cold water into the four 
pails of boiling water on the stove, have a moderate 
fire; the one pail of cold water will reduce the four 
pails down to scalding heat, which is hot enough. Take 
the turkey by the legs, push it entirely under the hot 


water with stub of an old broom, raise gently up and 
down to work the water under the feathers, and count 
ten. Then take it completely out of water to air it, 
count ten again, then plunge in water again and work 
up and down a little, at the same time counting thirty, 
then take out and plunge immediately into the barrel 
of cold water, and it is ready to pick. 

"Pickers throw old bags or pieces of carpet on 
their laps or hang the turkeys up to pick. I am very 
careful not to allow them to be dragged around over 
anything, or else the skin will be broken and make dark 
spots when cold. If the large feathers on the tips of 
wings and tail stick, dip those parts in hot water again. 
If the bird are not scalded enough, count slower when 
dipping; if scalded too much, count faster. If they are 
not dipped in cold water immediately after being 
scalded, the heat in the feather? will cook the fat and 
tender parts so much that they will certainly be torn in 
picking. Even when dipped in cold water care must 
be taken, as the damage does not show much until they 
are cold. Dipping in cold water shrinks the skin so 
that they look plump and pick better. Scalding partly 
cooks the skin and gives them a rich golden color, 
while a dry-picked turkey skin is blue and wrinkled. 

'^hen picked, open a small hole to take out the 
vent and intestines. Loosen the fat inside about the 
vent and roll it out so as to fill the hole nicely. Leave 
the crop in, as it is empty. Lay on a table or board 
on their backs, close together, so as to keep the wings 
close to the body, with head hanging down, and continue 
the killing. I take them to market one day before the 
holiday, cut the heads off and make the load up so as 
to show off to the best advantage, and sell to the fancy 
trade myself. If they are prime and fancy, I can set 
my o"wn price and get it. My young turkeys bring 
from $2.50 to $3 each, two-year-old gobblers from $5 



to $6. I would take iny turkeys fifty miles to a large 
city and market them myself rather than to ship to 
commission merchants. From what I have seen in our 
markets, shipped poultry brings low prices in competi- 
tion with choice dressed native stock. Wealthy people 
do not like shipped poultry and are willing to pay 
fancy prices.^' The illustration, Figure 31, a box of 
American poultry, shows how to box and ship turkeys. 

20 No. 1 












urkey ii^W 



Boxes Ijl'^ 1^ 

'^ P^^fpffl 


^4X22 ||V| 



'-' M 




The movement and range of prices in former 
years are shown in the following table, compiled by the 
New York Produce Eeview, covering the receipts in 
packages for Thanksgiving week with quotations for 
best grade western turkeys ; also the closing prices on 
the Wednesday preceding the national holiday in the 
years named. 



, Prices 

Receipts, Thanksgiving CloBcfl 

packages week "Wednesdny 

1903 30.C01 16 f5;22 c 17 @20VLc 

1902 24,913 15 @18 15y2@17 

1901 34,147 11 @13 11@12V4 

1900 40.968 8 @12 9 @10 

1899 29,680 lOVz*?^!'^ 10 @11 

1898 29,141 11V2@12V^ 10 @lli^ 

1897 — 10 @13 — 

1896 30,603 11 @14i^ 12 @13 

1895 29,363 9 @12 liy2@12 

1894 33,602 8 @10 8 (& 9 

1893 28,233 9 @13 9 @10 

1892 26,972 13 @16 13 @14 

1891 24,358 13 @16 14 (f/,15 

1890 21,007 12 @16 15 @16 

1889 26,395 10 @13 12 @13 

1888 31,554 10 @14 10 @11 

English Alethods — The methods of English turkey 
fatteners, as described by E. li. Brown, include several 
good suggestions: About five weeks before killing, the 
turkeys are put up to fatten in a dry, comfortable shed, 
which must be large enough for the number of birds 
accommodated. Then the northern and eastern sides 
of this shed should be well closed in, but the southern 
and western sides may be wire netted, thus affording 
the inmates plenty of fresh air. Broad perches are 
provided, and must not be more than tliree feet above 
the ground. Food and water are placed in troughs 
conveniently situated, and away from the perches. 

When shut up to fatten the turke3^s are given all 
the food they will eat. The morning feed consists of 
barley meal and wheat meal. Some farmers who are 
very particular and have good customers mix the meals 
with milk, and give milk to drink instead of water, an 
inexpensive addition if skimmilk is used, and one which 
considerably improves the flesh. Althougli not mucli 
used, there can be no doubt that the addition of a little 
pure fat to the soft food is highly beneficial, softening 
tlie flesh. Cooked potatoes can also be added to soft 
food with advantage, and this applies to all fowls put 



up for fattening. The afternoon feed consists ol 
whole barley, oats and a little maize, which are more 
easily digested if steamed in hot water. When fully 
satisfied all" food should be removed, the trougns 
emptied and washed after the morning meal of soft food. 
In every case there must be a plentiful supply of 
coarse grit and sand available to the fowls, and a little 
slacked lime or old mortar will be an improvement. 
Without grit the turkeys cannot possibly digest their 
food properly, and without effective digestion flesh 
production will never be complete. Should any of the 
turkeys fight the culprit must be removed. Turkeys 
can be crammed by machines as are fowls. 

Feeding Ducl^s for 2Iarlxt—The description is by 
a prominent duck raising expert, G. H. Pollard of 
Bristol county, Mass.: "At twenty-four or thirty-six 
hours old we take the ducklings out of the machines 
and put them into the pipe brooder that we have. A 
small brooder is perhaps just as desirable and as cheap, 
if you have not many birds. Then we start them on 
bran and meal, two-thirds bran and one-third meal, 
and if we have a supply of whole or skimmed milk we 
mix the mash with milk. We do not cook it at all. 
Sometimes we have taken two-thirds bran and one-third 
meal and scalded it and after it was cold we would 
mix in a few eggs, but not enough to make it sticky. 
Sometimes we have fed them as much as twenty per 
cent beef scrap. Drinking water should be kept by 
them always and particularly when they are feeding, as 
they cannot swallow the food without it, and it chokes 
them. If they do not have water by them all the time, 
when if is supplied they get into it and the ducklings 
tread upon and kill one another. At five or six days 
old we drop the milk and begin to add the beef scrap, 
about two per cent to begin with, and just a dash of 
salt. Then we begin to decrease the bran and add the 


meal until we get even parts of bran and meal. At 
two weeks of age they will be getting half and half 
of bran and meal and five per cent of beef scrap. 

"We often feed young ducks five weeks old as high 
as twenty-five per cent of beef scrap. I do not know 
that I would advise that always, but one must be 
guided by the condition of the market. One objection 
to feeding so much beef scrap is that it tends to make 
many pinfeathers. You can take a young duck at ten 
weeks old that has had no animal food and he will 
not show pinfeathers at all, while the same bird having 
had animal food would show a great many pinfeathers 
at ten weeks and at eleven weeks he would be too pin- 
feathery to dress. Ten weeks is the usual age at whicli 
they are dressed, but it depends largely upon what you 
feed them whether they are fit to be dressed at that age 
or not. The cost of caring for them and the cost of 
grains and meat foods decide the question whether it 
is best to dress them early or market them at a later 
date. I think that generally the quicker you can get 
rid of them the better it is. 

"We kill at ten weeks. The common way of fat- 
tening would be to cut off the bran at eight weeks. We 
do not change the food from the time we begin to give 
them equal parts of bran and meal right up to the 
killing time, and so do not have the bother of getting 
the separate foods mixed. Green food we do not give 
at all to the young ducks, unless we intend them for 
breeders, and then we give them a moderate amount 
of green food. You can get quicker growth with beef 
scrap than to add green food. We usually kill at ten 
weeks, because at that time they pick better. Beef 
scraps start the pinfeathers ; the bird tliat has had very 
little beef scraps will pick at twelve or thirteen weeks 
very nicely, but at ten or eleven weeks the pinfeathers 
start quite freely if the ducks have been fed with beef 



scraps. The Pekin cluck sliould be dry-picked. In the 
west and in New York state the}^ are scalded quite 
extensively, but in the east they are dry-picked. In 
the south they pay only three cents apiece for picking, 
while we pay six to eight cents. The lowest prices in 
the duck market are from the first of July to the first 
of September, and from September to November the 
price always goes up from two to five cents a pound." 
Killing and Dressing Duels (Howard) — There are 
two methods of dressing ducks for market, by dry 

Fig. 32 — DUCK PICKING (Howard) 

picking and scalding. Both of these methods are good 
and are being employed successfully by the largest 
raisers. Some have a preference for dry picking and 
others for scalding, and it is only a matter of taste 
which method is used. When birds are dressed by 
scalding they should be dipped several times, or until 
the feathers come out easily. The back should be 
dipped in the water first. After scalding, wipe them 
as dry as possible with a sponge and pick the breast 
feathers first. A bird when dressed for market has left 


on it tlie feathers on the wings, tail, head and neck. 
Tlie legs are left on and the birds are not drawn. 

The process of dry picking is considered the 
simpler of the two methods, and one who is accustomed 
to the work can dress three dozen birds in a day. Tlie 
picker's outfit consists of a chair, a box for the feathers 
and a couple of knives, one knife being dull, the other 
sharp-pointed and double-edged, for bleeding. The 
bird is taken between the knees, the bill held open with 
the left hand, and a cut made across the roof of the 
mouth just below the eyes. The bird is then stunned 
by striking its head against a post or some hard sub- 
stance. The picker seats himself in the chair with 
the bird in his lap (see Figure 32), its head held 
firmly between one knee and the box. The feathers 
are carefully sorted while picking; the pins are thrown 
away and the body feathers with the down are thrown 
into the box. Care should be taken about this, as the 
feathers from each bird will weigh about two ounces, 
and will quite pay for the picking. 

The dull knife and the thumb are used to remove 
the long pinfeathers, and this should be done without 
tearing the skin. The down can usually be rubbed off 
by slightly moistening the hand and holding the skin 
tight. Often some of the pins cannot be taken out 
without tearing and disfiguring the skin; when such is 
the case tlioy should be shaved off. Seven or eight 
minutes is all the time necessary to dress a bird. After 
the birds are picked they should be carefully washed; 
and plumped by placing in a tank or barrel of ice 
water. They are hardened in this ice water and given 
a rounded and full appearance. They are then packed 
in barrels or boxes and shipped to market. The first 
or bottom layer is packed with backs down ; a layer of 
ice is then placed over them, and all other layers are 
packed witli tlio ])reasts down, a layer of ice being 


lu'tween each layer of dncks. The top of the box or 
l.irrel is then rounded off with ice and covered with 
burlaps. A flour barrel will hold about three dozen 
l)irds. Some raisers use boxes for shipping and have 
the empties returned free. Figure 33 shows a pair of 


young ducks dressed for market, while the frontispiece 
shows a large eastern Massachusetts duck farm. 

Dressing Duels and Geese— A western dealer says 
ducks and geese should be scalded in the same tempera- 


ture of water as for otlior kinds of poultry, but it 
requires more time for the water to penetrate and loosen 
the feathers. Some parties advise, after scalding, to 
wrap them in a blanket for the purpose of steaming, 
but the}^ must not be left in this condition long enough 
to cook the flesh. Do not undertake to dry-pick geese 
and ducks just before killing for the purpose of saving 
the feathers, as it causes the skin to become very mucli 
inflamed, and is a great injury to the sale, bo not 
pick the feathers off the head; leave the feathers on 
for two or three inches on the neck. Do not singe the 
bodies for the purpose of removing any down or hair, 
as the heat from the flame will give them an oily and 
unsightly appearance. After they are picked clean 
they should be held in scalding water about ten seconds 
for the purpose of plumping, and should then be rinsed 
off in clean cold water. Fat heavy stock is alwa3'S 

WJwIesaJe Goose Fattening — At Adamsville, R. I., 
there is a large goose-fattening establishment. The 
proprietors pick up the geese in carts when about half 
grown, that is, about the age that the quills begin to 
start; many farmers prefer to dispose of the geese in 
this way rather than have the trouble of fattening them 
themselves. The professional fatteners finish off the 
geese in four to six weeks. There is nothing secret 
about the method of fattening. They are given mostly 
corn meal, bran and meat, and fed all they will eat. 
At killing time, five or six pickers are employed, and 
these become very expert, dressing off from twenty to 
twenty-five a day. The product is shipped to Xew 
York and Boston; sometimes the demand is better in 
one cit\% and sometimes in the other. The poultry are 
dry-picked and feathers sold, being kept until winter 
and shipped all together. Goose feathers are usually 
worth about thirty-five cents per pound, duck feathers 


from twenty-eight to thirty cents. Common hen 
feathers sell at four to five cents per pound. 

Said Mr. Cornell, owner of this establishment: 
''This year I have fattened about 10,000 geese and about 
4000 ducks, not as many as usual, as it has been a poor 
season. I feed them on corn meol and beef scraps, 
fattening them during September, October and Novem- 
ber. I feed 100 bushels meal per day, and two tons of 
scraps per week. We do not coop them up in houses 
to fatten them; they are out in yards about thirty to 
forty feet square. I employ about eight pickers and 
three or four men to take care of the geese. Most of 
my poultry goes to New York market. We stick them 
in the roof of the mouth to bleed them, and hit them on 
the head with a small stick. Do not pick the neck or 
wings, only the body. I pay ten cents for picking 
geese and six cents for ducks.'^ 

According to another specialist, geese may be 
finished for market by feeding liberally about four 
weeks in coops. An old shed is a good enough fattening 
place. Good foods are corn meal and shorts, boiled 
oats, brewers' grain and some fresh green stuff or 
boiled potatoes. Gravel or grit is positively needed, 
also plenty of water. 

Special Fattening of Geese — The most extreme 
method of artificial fattening is employed with geese 
whose livers are to be used for the delicacy known as 
"foie gras" (fat liver). In Farmers' Bulletin No. 183 
of the United States department of agriculture, Helen 
W. Atwater says this art of fattening geese until fatty 
infiltration of the liver has set in and that organ weighs 
from two and one-half to three pounds, is practiced on 
a large scale about Strasburg, Germany, and to a less 
extent about Toulouse and elsewhere. The birds are 
usually confined in small, dark cages, where they can 
move only a few inches, and are fed two or three times 



a day, commonly with all the ground maize or wheat 
flour paste they can be made to eat. When they have 
become very fat, usually at the end of about three 
weeks, they are killed and the livers removed. 

The livers, which are perhaps no more abnormal 
than the flesh of an overfat hog, commonly appear in 


our markets in jars or tins in three distinct forms: 
Foie gras an naturcl, pate de foie gras (by far the most 
popular), and puree de foie gras. The foie gras au 
naturel is simply the liver preserved without any 
dressing. The pates are made of large pieces of the 
liver, cooked and dressed with truffles and other con- 


diments. Tliese pieces are fitted into cans by trim- 
ming oflt the edges, and are covered with melted goose 
fat or suet. i\Iany persons find the flavor of the goose 
fat too strong and prefer the suet. The trimmings of 
the liver in the pates are preserved with truffles, etc., 
and sold as puree de foie gras. 

^ English duck raisers mostly prefer the Aylesbury 
variety. At eight or nine weeks the Aylesbury weighs 
about six pounds. Such foods as ground oats, barley 
and rice, also bran, take the place of the corn meal and 
bran so largely fed in America. Meat scrap and tallow 
are used freely. Ducks are killed by cutting the large 
veins of the head. Some killers let 'the carcass become 
cold before picking in order to prevent tearing, but 
this practice makes the process of picking more slow 
and difficult. The feathers around the neck and head 
are left on, as shown in Figure 34, a duck killing 
room, from a photograph kindly loaned by Mr. Peter 
Walch, who markets about 20,000 ducks per year from 
his farm in Lancashire, England, a part of which is 
shown in Figure 35. 



THE farms of the land need to produce not only 
more poultr}', but better poultry. Think for a 
moment where the bulk of the meat on a fowl is 
placed. It is on the breast and the thighs. 
There is practically no meat elsewhere. Then how 
foolish to go on breeding year after year from birds that 
are flat in breast and scant in thighs. 

The illustration, Figure 36, ''Breast and Thigh 
Development," shows a side view of the average fowl 


in the market. The breast flesh ought to go out to 
the dotted line, then there would be twice as much of 
the white meat, and it would cost no more to bring 
the bird to maturity. The middle figure of the same 
illustration shows a cross section of the average market 
fowl, the dotted sections showing the breast meat. Breed 
a round, wide-breasted bird and the breast meat would 
come out to the dotted lines and double the amount 
produced. Look carefully to the shape of the breeding 
stock and select birds that are built to carry a large 
amount of l)reast and thigh meat. 

The Ijest market fowls carry the white meat not 
only on the breast proper as at b in the third figure 
of the illustration, but also well back between the legs 
at a. Much of the market poultry fails to be thick- 



nieated at this point, a, and this is a vital defect. Tlie 
pure bred Wvandottes, I^lymouth Rocks and Rhode 
Island Reds are especially noted for carrying a gener- 
ous quantity of white meat not only upon the breast, 
but also well back between the legs, and this is one 
of the reasons for the market popularity of these 
two breeds. 

There is no reason to suppose that any of the 
breeds used for market poultry in Europe are at all 
superior to tlie standard American general purpose 
breeds. In fact, some of the foreign breeds have dark 
legs, blue meat and other peculiarities that would make 
them unpopular in American markets. The excellence 


(Breast upward and breast downward) 

of the best grades of foreign poultry is due to care and 
artistic finisli during the whole process from feeding 
pen to market. With the same care and the use of 
the various special processes, American grown poultry 
is found able to compete in foreign markets, securing 
nearly or quite as high prices. 

The appearance of some English dressed poultry 
(turkeys, ducks, etc.) at the cattle club sliow, Smithfield, 
England, is well brought out in Fugure 37. The cliief 


peculiarities of the English method are: Killing by 
Avringing the neck, not by chopping or sticking; 
feathers are left on the neck for a few inches from 
the head, also a few feathers on tail and tips of wings ; 
the breast bone is sometimes broken down by pressing 
it to one side with the thumbs, and the wings are 
twisted to the back of the bird. 

The French exhibit is especially well staged, show- 
ing its merits to best advantage. The specimens are of 
large size, very clean and white and well finished 

Fig. 38 — SHAPED FOWLS (French) 

by shaping as described elsewhere. They are shown 
back uppermost, while English and American exhib- 
itors place them breast up. The methods by which 
the finest grades of foreign poultry are fattened and 
finished for market are fully explained in this work. 
Shaping (E. E. Brown) — Although French sys- 
tems of shaping are practically unknown in this 
country, it is desirable to refer to them, as for the 
finer qualities of fowls they might be adopted in many 
cases with advantage. The first is that most common 
in France. In this case a board, from fifteen to eighteen 
inches long and five to eight inches wide, in accord- 


ance with tlic size of the fowl, is used. In tliis hoard, 
Figure 40, which is usually one inch thick, are driven 
eight pegs at equal distances. When the bird is killed 
it is quickly plucked, and the head, legs and inner bowel 
most carefully washed. It is then laid breast down- 
ward on the board, and the back pressed in with the 
hand, causing the ribs to crack slightly and loosening 
the breast muscles. When this is done the fowl does 

Fig. 39 — SHAPED POULTKY (La Brosse) 

not again return to its normal shape, and the meat 
being forced to the breast of the fowl, gives that flat 
appearance which is so desirable. The hocks have 
already been tied with the wings througli tliem. When 
placed in position upon the board the rump and crop 
are supported by pads of stout paper, or small blocks 
of wood, covered with cloth, in order to keep the fowl 
level. A strong linen cloth which is first dipped in 
milk and is the length of the bird's body, is very 
tightly drawn over the back, and the eight tapes. 



Figure 41, provided for the purpose, are tightly 
attached to the pegs of wood, the head and neck hang- 
ing doAvn at one end. The whole is then drenched with 
cold water, and left to set. Such a system, although 
apparently giving great trouhle, is very simple, and 
brings out all the best qualities of a fowl. These 
shaping boards can be made very cheaply, at the cost 
of a few cents each, and the lady members of any house- 
hold can make the linen cloths. 

Another system, which is found almost exclusively 
in the La Bresse district of France, is peculiar to that 
country, and to it is due the unique shape of La Bresse 

i D 



fowls. Small poultry keepers and great fatteners alike 
adopt this method. Every fowl, no matter how small 
its price, is prepared in the following way: For this 
purpose two cloths are used, the first a piece of fine 
linen, and the second an oblong piece of coarse linen 
or canvas. The sliape of the former does not matter 
so much but the latter requires to be of a certain make. 
So soon as the fowl is killed it is plucked, and whilst 
warm, wrapped, first in the fine linen, and then in the 
coarser material ; the latter is drawn very tightly, either 
by tapes or cords passed through holes provided for the 
purpose, or is sewed up with fine strings. These cloths 


envelop it comi:)letely. It is stitched first from the 
stern up to the hocks, and then along the bod}- to the 
neck, the legs being laid on either side of the breast 
and encased with the cloth. The fowls are dipped in 
cold water and allowed to remain in this position from 
twenty-four to thirty-six hours. When taken out they 
have a sugar-loaf shape, the head being at the apex and 
the stern at the base. The effect of this system is to 
smooth the skin and give it a very pleasing appearance. 
The shape of this cloth is shown in Figure 41, at 
the right, 

"Whatever the system adopted of shaping, it is a 
most important point that the bird shall be plucked 
carefully, and it is customary in some parts to employ 
the services of what are called ^'stubbers." If any of 
the feathers, especially the short 'quills, are left in the 
flesh, they will depreciate the appearance of the fowl. 
Fowls are singed immediately after being plucked, 
and stubbed. 

The Sussex System — Shaping is carried out in 
Sussex, England, as part of the process, but in a very 
different manner than that just described. There can 
be no question but that the appearance of the fowls is 
improved thereby. This system is so simple that it can 
be adopted at very small expense, the shaping boards 
l)eing easily made. An illustration of Canadian shaped 
poultry, Figures 42 and 43, shows a shaping board built 
in three rows, and capable of holding thirty to thirty-six 
birds at one time. For smaller producers it can be built 
with one row, and the cost of material for construction 
of the large size would not be over one dollar. Each 
trough is made Y-shaped, the front of which is rather 
narrower than the back. These troughs consist of onl}^ 
twelve pieces of wood, namely: (1) The two upright 
ends, thirty-six inches by seven inches; (2) three 
troughs, each made of two pieces at right angles, tlie 



back board six inches wide and the front five inches, 
and thirty inches long; (3) the bottom stay; (4) three 
loose boards, half an inch shorter than the troughs and 
four inches wide. It is better to use smooth boards 
five-eighths or three-quarters inch thick, and fit the 
whole firmly together. 

The operation is as follows : As soon as the birds 
are plucked, which should be done carefully and thor- 
oughly, the hocks are tied loosely together, so the legs 


are flat against either side of the breast. Before doing 
so some of the most skillful fatteners draw the meat 
upward by means of the hands, and this undoubtedly 
improves the appearance of the bird, though it must 
be done carefully to prevent breaking of the skin. The 
operator strikes the stern against a wall, thus flattening 
and making it fit the shaping trough more easily. Each 
bird is laid in the trough breast down, with the neck 
and head hanging over the front. The first bird is 
pressed firmly against the end of the trough, and a 
glazed brick or weight laid by the side to keep it in 



position. AVlicn tlie second and succeeding birds are 
placed in the trough the weight is moved along until 
quite full. It is necessar}^ that they should be packed 
firmly and tightly in this way. Xexi a loose board, 
four inches wide, and half an inch shorter than the 
trough, is laid upon the back of the fowls, just behind 
the wings. Upon this are placed three or four heavy 
glazed bricks, or two weights of fifty-six pounds, and 
the fowls are allowed to remain in the trough for several 



hours, in fact, until they are quite cold and set. When 
taken out they have the appearance shown in Figure 43. 
In all such matters it is desirable to study appearance 
and what are the market requirements. For London 
trade it is necessar}- to send birds so shaped in order to 
secure the best prices. Of course shaping does not add 
one iota to the weight, nor anything to the edible value. 
But it is none the less important, for the eye is the 
inlet to the pocket as to "the soul." 



Ame7-ican Metliods — At the Canadian poultr}^ 
stations the method of shaping is practically the same 
as the English or Sussex method. When the chickens 
are plucked they are put on a shaping board. That 
may be a board about six inches wide, placed against a 
wall and making with the wall an angle of about ninety 
degrees. Or it may be a V-shaped trough with that 
angle. As soon as each chicken is plucked, its legs are 
placed alongside its breast. The stern of the chicken 


is pressed into the angle of the shaping board or trough. 
Each bird is laid in with its breast downward, a glazed 
brick or other weight is laid on top, another brick is 
put alongside to keep it in position until the next 
bird is pressed closely there. After the row is full the 
chickens are left lying on their breasts with sufficient 
weight to hold them firmly and crush the breast bones 
slightly, but not so as to break them. While they are 
in this position the body is partly drained of the blood 
which collects in the neck. They are left there to cool 
and set, and then are packed in crates for shipment. 



Page I 

Anatomy of fowls g 

Animal food »i 

Barley for poultry 49 

Beets, feeding o-^ 

Bleeding a fowl 11^ 

Block for beheading 119 

Bone, amount required oo 

as an esS food 56 

for chicks and ducklings.... 5< 

fresh green 54 

meal for chicks 23 

and meat meal 58 

scrap. 57 

value of 55 

Board for shaping 152 

Boston market, poultry for.. 124 

Boxes, marking 121 

Breeds for fattening SO, 106 

Broilers, care of 33| 

dressing and marketing 35| 

feeding 34 

finishing for market 31 

killing 32 

plumping 36 

squab 30. 35 

starting 35 

to finish 35 

winter 35 

Broiler plant, a 32 

Brooders, care of 25 

Brooder chicks, feeding 26 

Buckwheat for poultry 49 

Cabbage for poultry 63 

Canada, progress in 104 

Canadian fattening 76 

methods lOS 

Capons, dressing 70 

finishing 67, 71 

packing 72 

profit in 70 

ration for 67 

Chicago market, poultry for. 125 
Chickens, experience with — 12 

late hatched 67 

specially fattened 78 

Chicks, feeding 20 

grit for 21 

treatment for chilled 11 

variety for 34 

young, feeding 31 

Cloth for shaping 152 

Clover pasture 62 

Condition powders 50 

Cooking food 14 

Cooling for market 115 

Cooping and care 84 

Coops for fattening 

97, 101, 103, 107 
for feeding chick.. 10 


Coops for live shipment 128 

for machine fattening 88 

Corn for poultry 49 

meal for chicks 9 

Crates for fattening G9 

Curtice, on feeding chicks... 26 
Development of breast and 

thigh 149 

Digestive organs 45 

Dressing broilers 35 

ducks and geese 143 

for family trade 128 

method of 115 

squabs 131 

table for 121 

western method 122 

Droppings an indication 42 

Duck farm, English 146 

feeding, experiment in 16 

raising, expert 14 

Ducks, breeding, food for 15 

cost per pound 17 

cost of raising 16 

English, feeding of 147 

fattening 140 

feeding 139 

killing 117 

killing and dressing 141 

milk for 16 

rule for feeding 16 

young, ration for 15 

Ducklings, meat for 54 

Egg food, homemade 50 

producer 50 

English method, summar^' of. 98 

Experience with chickens 12 

Export, chickens for 129 

Fat, feeding 99 

hens, to reduce 42. 45 

Fattening, American 103 

art of 73 

artificial >. 81 

breeds for 80 

by hand 93 

by machine, cost of 88 

Canadian 105 

coops 84 

cost of 107 

crates 69 

English 95 

English method of 75 

English expert 92 

experience in 108 

French 96 

geese 145 

German 100 

Iowa method 82 

machines, English 94 

main points in 86 



Page I Pag-e 
Fattening, requirements for.. 79 Marketing, expert 133 

quickly liu 

Feeding by hand 92 

by machine S3 

in yards 109 

in molting season 44 

science of 48 

variety in 9 

Felch's meal bread 21 

Fish for poultry 60 

Food, amount required 48 

bulky 61 

cooking 14 

for machine feeding 86 

for young chicks 10 

Foods, Belgian 



Fowls, exercise for 

feeding in winter 

rations for 

stall fed 

. 51 
. 65 
. 41 
, 40 
, 39 

squabs 132 

turkeys 133 

Meat and bone compared 58 

and grain compared 53 

location of 149 

raw 63 

results from 52 

white 149 

Methods, special S2 

Milk for chicks 10 

Millet for chicks 11. 13 

Molting season, feeding in.... 44 
Muskrats as poultry food.... 64 

Nuts for poultry 64 

Oats for fattening 97 

for poultry 49 

in fattening 101 

Oatmeal for chicks 22 

Overfeeding 42. 45 

Owls' Nest farm 30 

Packing and shipping 126 

expert 123 

variety for 41jPicking, details of 113 

watching condition of 42 turkeys 136 

Funnel for cramming 93|Pinfeathering 114 

Garbage 66 Pomace 66 

Geese, dressing 143 Poultry, dry picked 122 

English, weight of 77 

facts 48 

family 128 

fancy, French 74 

for choice trade Ill 

quality in 74 

" ' '■ 78 

fattening 144 

livers of 146 

German methods 101 

Gluten meal 65 

Grain and meat compared 54 

mixture for chicks 27 

Grains for fowls 37 Prices of fancv poultry 

scorched 65 Profit in fattening 86 

standard 49 Protein, need of for chicks... 10 

various 49 Quick fattening method 110 

Green food 62 Ration, a developing 14 

food for chicks 21 Rations, balanced 48 

food for fowls 38 balanced for chicks I'O 

food for poultry 51 Rice for poultry 64 

Grit for chicks n. 21 Rye and clover 62 

Hens on Maine college farm. 43 Scalding 116 

Horse flesh 58 method of 121 

Hunter, A. F., on chicken | poultry 126 

.feeding 19 Scraps in fattening 100 

Icmg for shipment 126! table 65 

Killing bag 117 Screenings 65 

^ucks 117 Seed mixture for chicks 27 

English method of 151 Selection of lavers 42 

^Pert 113 Shaped fowls, French 151 

French method 118 Shaping, American method.. 157 

knife for 116 

method of 105 

methods of compared Ill 

squabs 131 

Knife for killing 116 

board, Canadian 156 

board, French 151 

cloth 152 

English method 154 

La Bresse method 153 

guide for 117 Shelter for chicks 24 

Layers, selecting 42 Shipment, icing for 126 

Live poultry, shipping 127 Shipping box, Canadian 129 

Machine feeding 83 in coops 127 

Machines, increased use of ... 81 Shrinkage, amount of !.!!l27 

Market, preparing for 120 Skimmilk 61 

Marketing broilers 35. feeding .... 10* 




Small broilers, growing 2S 

Sour food 66 

Special food crop 63 

Squabs, marketing 130 

Sulphur in fattening 100 

Table for dressing 121 

Tallow for fattening 9« 

Tankage, ground 65 

Troughs, English shaping 154 

Turkeys, Christmas 135 

dressing 115, 134 

English 138 

fattening 133 


Turkeys, feeding young 17 

killing 133 

marketing 133 

shipping 137 

Thanksgiving 138 

Turtle as a poultry food 60 

Vegetables for chicks 12 

T\'heat for poultry 49 

Whey cream 60 

Winter chicks, feeding 27 

T\"ringing the neck IIS 

Yards, feeding in 109